Hearing aid devices are electronic devices fitted with a microphone, amplifier and speaker to aid users in speech hearing and comprehension. The different types of these devices are categorized primarily based on where they are worn, in or behind your ear.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

These hearing aid devices are usually worn in the outer bowl and come custom-fit. Your audiologist needs to take your ear canal impression to make them. ITE devices can further be classified into invisible in the canal (IIC) or completely in the canal (CIC).

The ITE hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet hearing devices available. The IIC is usually placed deeply in the ears making them nearly invisible without a closer look. The user can remove them by tugging on a small pull-out string.

The CIC is similar to the IIC, only that they do not sit quite deeply. The key advantage of both of the ITE is that due to their placement they are least likely to pick up wind noise. However, their size does not allow extra features such as volume control and are also susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.

To wear an ITE device, first pull out your outer ear to make room for the placement. Secondly, push the hearing aid into the canal and tuck the removal handle or string into the bowl of your ear. Additionally, you may need to rotate the device slightly until it slips into place to ensure comfort.

To remove an ITE device pull out the handle or string, and the device will come out.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

This type of hearing aids hook over the top of your ear, resting behind the ear. BTE devices are classified into two, mainly the receiver in canal (RIC) and behind the ear with earmold. The RIC is a hearing aid type that has the speaker made into an ear dome that can be inserted, instead of the keyframe component.

In essence, the microphone and microprocessor sit in a tiny enclosure behind the ear whereas the speaker rests in the ear canal. These features make this type of hearing aid visible. The main advantage is that they usually come with a rechargeable battery option.

BTE with earmold has a long shape that follows the contour behind the outer ear and encompasses more features. This outward extension can hold onto the outer ear firmly yet comfortably, preventing it from falling off when jumping or exercising.

To wear a BTE device, you first place the ear hook behind your ear before placing the dome speaker or receiver in your ear canal. Similarly, when removing the BTE device, start by removing the hook from behind your ear then pulling out the dome. As always, remember to switch it off when not in use.

Maintenance practices for your hearing aids

Proper maintenance will surely extend the life of your hearing aid, improving your experience. Here are a few practices to consider:

  • Keep them off areas with heat and moisture. Using hair sprays when wearing hearing aids may expose them to moisture.
  • Regularly clean your hearing aids as instructed. The earwax may clog, impeding the microphone's ability to capture sounds effectively.
  • To make them more durable, turn them off when not in use.
  • Replace dead batteries as soon as possible.
  • Keep your hearing aids away from children and pets.
  • Schedule professional cleaning for your hearing aids every four to six months.
  • Leave all repairs to an expert to avoid further damage.

It is important to visit an audiologist to get your hearing tested, especially if you have any concerns. The audiologist can test your hearing across several frequencies to determine the severity. The earlier you react to address your hearing loss concerns; the more options available to you.

Visiting your audiologist ensures you leave with custom-fit hearing aids that blend in with your skin complexion. When deciding on the hearing aid, crosscheck the various types for useful features that may suit you. The warranty is also another key factor that you should not overlook.

You may also find it necessary to inquire about the existence and length of a trial period for the hearing aids. This period will help you in gauging the experience to help you decide your best fit. Remember that at first, these devices may make you feel uncomfortable but that may change as you adjust to having them with you.

To learn more about Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service, contact us at (920) 267-5220.