Today’s hearing aids have come a long way from the original devices that preceded them, both in terms of style and in technological advancement. Modern innovation has allowed new features to be developed that go far beyond simple sound amplification, and a whole new range of styles offer comfortable devices that are subtle and easy to wear.
Innovative Styles: New Hearing Aids Offer a Variety of Options
Hearing aids come in a variety of styles. Based on your level of hearing loss, aesthetic preference, lifestyle needs and budget, you are certain to find a style that will help you hear well and feel confident about your appearance.
In-the-Ear Hearing Aids (ITEs)
Custom earmolds that fit within the outer portion of the ear.
In-the-Canal Hearing Aids (ITCs)
Custom earmold fits in the ear canal. A smaller portion shows in the outer ear.
Completely-in-Canal Hearing Aids (CICs)
Custom-made instruments fit completely in the ear canal with only the tip of a small plastic handle for insertion and removal.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids (BTEs)
This commonly selected style houses hearing technology in a casing that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into an earbud or a customized ear mold that is fitted inside the ear canal.
Receiver-in-Canal Hearing Aids (RICs)
With RICs, the receiver (speaker) sits inside the ear canal. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing distortion.
This custom-fit style is inserted farther into the ear canal than other styles, making it virtually undetectable.
New Technology: Changing the Way Hearing Aids Perform
The latest hearing aids available still amplify sounds, but thanks to digital and technological advances, they’re much smarter and more selective in what they amplify. Through new features, hearing aids can do a lot more than just make sounds easier to hear.
Other Hearing Aid Advances
- Moisture, Wax and Oil Barriers are protective coatings that help make hearing aids oil and wax repellent.
- Channels and Bands are used by your hearing professional to create customized settings for different sound frequency ranges.
- Feedback Suppression will prevent whistling, screeching, and buzzing in your hearing aid.
- Ear-to-Ear Processing makes your hearing aids work together to create a better listening experience.
One of the biggest challenges people with hearing loss have is hearing in noisy places like restaurants or at social gatherings. It’s not that they can’t hear, it’s that they can’t hear clearly. The best of today’s hearing aids remedy those challenges with directional microphones and noise reduction technology. Programmed specifically to your hearing, they’re designed to help you focus on speech from a certain direction. Noise reduction also allows you to listen more comfortably, so you can focus on who or what you want to hear.
One of the most popular new advances is wireless hearing aids. Through these devices, sound from your TV, computer, MP3 player or phone is streamed directly into your ears at the volume you choose. This direct connection results in immersive, enhanced sound, allowing you to listen at the sound level you choose without turning up the volume. Some devices allow you to seamlessly switch between settings and remotely control your hearing aids.
Digital technology has enabled these new features and benefits to fit in advanced hearing solutions that are getting smaller and smaller all the time. Many devices are so tiny they rest completely in your ear canal and are virtually undetectable when worn.