Different Styles of Hearing Aids to be chosen after the Hearing Aids Prescription
If your hearing is no longer normal, you should receive a hearing test and evaluation before your hearing aids prescription. Your audiologist may prescribe the hearing aid that will work best for your particular situation. Hearing aids can come in different styles, and here are some of the more common styles of hearing aids:
- Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids. These are made of two components. There’s a mic that fits behind the ear, and then there’s an ear piece that fits inside the ear. The ear piece can be an open fitting with a thin plastic tube with a dome fitted inside the ear, or it can be an ear mold which is plastic molded to the exact shape of your ear.
- RIC (Receiver in Canal) Behind the Ear.This looks much like the open fitting BTE hearing aids. The receiver is inside the canal and not on the hearing aid itself.
- In the Ear (ITE). The mic and all the other parts of the hearing aid are inside a molded ear piece which fits inside the ear canal. Since there is nothing behind your ears, this can be more discreet.
- In the Canal.The entire contraption is small enough to fit almost entirely in the ear canal, which makes it even less noticeable than the ITE hearing aids.
- Completely In the Canal.This is perhaps the most discreet of them all, as it is placed deep inside the ear canal.
- Body Worn Hearing Aids. The molded ear pieces are connected to the body worn unit through wires. The unit can be placed inside a pocket or worn on the belt.
- Bone Conduction Body Worn. The hearing aiduses a mic to pick up sound, and then a bone conductor device on a headband transmits the signals. This is usually appropriate when the ears are discharging or if there is conductive hearing loss.
- Behind The Ear Bone Conduction. This works like the body worn version, except that the mic part of the contraption is put on the headband that has the bone conductor. Unlike the body worn version, here there are no wires.
- Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA).This will require an operation that fixes a small screw into the skull. Afterwards, the sound bypasses the ear canal and middle ear and is sent directly to the cochlea. This style of hearing aid is for those with abnormal ear canals or middle ears, or who have discharge from their ear canals. This may also be used for those who have a complete hearing loss in one ear. They can then pick up sounds from the direction if that ear.
- Soft-Band Bone Conduction.This is the BAHA version that doesn’t need surgery and uses a headband instead.
- CROS. This is for those with no hearing in one ear and normal hearing in another. It has a mic on the “bad” ear side and then transfers the sounds it picks up to the “good” ear.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aids Prescription
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