What are the types of Hearing Aid Devices I can choose?

What are the types of Hearing Aid Devices I can choose?


The function of a hearing aid is the same everywhere, but there are different types and styles available to suit specific needs and/or preferences. Before you get one however, you need to see an audiologist for a proper hearing aid prescription. Once that’s settled, you can choose the appropriate hearing device.


The following are the typical types of Hearing Aid Devices:


Behind the Ear Hearing Aids

Behind the Ear hearing devices have a microphone set behind your ear and an earpiece that is placed inside your ear. The ear pieces are either a plastic tube with a dome (open fitting) or molded to the shape of the ear (ear mold). As to which is more suitable, it depends on the hearing test and the kind of prescription you are given. Aside from the two, there are custom designed ear pieces as well.


RIC BTE Hearing Aids

These are similar to the behind the ear hearing devices with open fitting. With an RIC, the speaker / receiver is placed inside, and the open fitting is inside the canal instead of the hearing device. This is a very effective hearing aid and appropriate for those with severe hearing loss.


In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

These devices also have a microphone inside a molded earpiece which rests in the canal. Available in different styles and sizes, some are in a full shell while others are in the canal entirely. An ITE hearing device doesn’t leave anything sitting behind your ears so this is discrete.


Other Types of Hearing Aids

In the Canal hearing devices are small enough to place in the canal, while the Completely in the Canal variant is even more discrete, and there are body worn hearing devices available as well. These can be used with a pocket, belt or clipped on, although a powerful hearing aid is necessary.


Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing devices have become the standard means for amplifying sounds for those with hearing deficiencies. The reason for their widespread use and approval stem from the fact that they take into consideration different levels of hearing loss, thereby providing the proper adjustments. Basically, a digital hearing device splits up the sound that the built in microphone picks up into small parts.


These parts are subsequently amplified depending on the loudness and pitch. The exact amount of amplification hinges on the prescription, so it varies from person to person. In addition, digital hearing devices have numerous programs built in for use in different environments. For instance, one program may be for use in social gatherings, while others for work, and so on.


If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. Also note that the programs on these devices may be modified, but ask your ENT doctor first before making any changes.



HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription



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