Hearing aids 101
Did you know that one in six Australians suffer from hearing loss? As startling as this statistic is, it’s only expected to increase. In fact, scientists believe that by 2050 this could shift to one in four. Fortunately, 100 per cent of this group can benefit from the use of a hearing aid. While hearing loss isn’t reversible, hearing aids are tools which successfully amplify the hearing that you still have, improving the quality of conversations you have with those most important to you.
Knowing that you need a hearing aid is the first step, and may be the easiest. There are many different types of hearing aids to explore – each as unique as the person wearing it. Here are some of the most popular options on the market, so you can start to determine which makes the most sense for you:
We’ll start with the smallest and most subtle of hearing aids: In-the-Canal (ITC) and Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) models. Both offer cosmetic advantages if you do not want those around you to know that you are wearing hearing aids. They’re designed to be easily removed small aids in a case which fits either partly, or completely inside your ear canal. These are most frequently chosen by those who are impacted by mild to moderate hearing loss.
The ITC, or In-the-Canal and the ITE or the In-the-Ear are two popular models for those who suffer from a higher degree of hearing loss, from moderate to severe. While these sit comfortably in the ear canal, as the name infers, there is a small area of the hearing aid which is viewable to those nearby. The different elements of the aid are housed inside a shell, which fills the outer part of the ear. Because these are slightly larger than the ITC and CIC models, they are easier to handle for some.
Behind-the-Ear or BTE hearing aids are a safe and simple option. Each part of the hearing aid can be found within a small plastic case. This case then rests behind either ear and is connected to an ear mold with clear tubing. Since their design is not as invasive, they’re ideal for younger children.
You may have noticed a common thread running through all of the above options. Each is easily removable by the wearer. That’s not the case with Extended Wear Hearing Aids. These devices are placed directly into the ear canal, nonsurgical, by an audiologist or hearing expert. These devices are especially worth looking into, if you’re regularly active, because the engineering will protect against moisture and earwax.
Written by Hearlink.