What Are the Different Types Of Hearing Aid?
Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. There was a time, when hearing aids were large, clunky pieces of equipment, often worn strapped to the chest! Since the advent of digital hearing aids, they have become smaller and smaller. The technology packed into these tiny little devices is quite remarkable. What is more, digital hearing aid technology is improving all the time.
Hearing aids come in various styles and types. Each type is designed to a address specific type of hearing loss, and the preference of the individual user. Understanding the different types of hearing aids can help lipreading students make informed choices when they are looking for a particular type of device. It is possible that we will discuss these hearing aid types in the course of a lipreading class.
Do be aware, that the hearing aids available on the NHS are not always the same as those available privately. The type of hearing aid you may be offered on the NHS will often depend on your postcode, and the NHS trust that provides care in your area..
Here are some of the most common types of hearing aids:
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
These hearing aids fit snugly behind the ear and are connected to a customised earpiece or ear mould that fits precisely inside the ear canal. They are suitable for various degrees of hearing loss.
In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are usually custom-made hearing aids which are designed to fit entirely inside the outer part of the ear. They include an ear mould which is made specially to fit your ears. This ear mould is normally fashioned with silicon, or hard plastic.
In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
ITC hearing aids are quite a bit smaller than ITE hearing aids and fit partly inside the aperture of the ear canal. They are usually allocated to people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
CIC hearing aids are the smallest and least visible type. They sit entirely inside the ear canal. This type of hearing aid is suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) or Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) Hearing Aids
RIC/RITE hearing aids have a small receiver in the ear canal connected to the main body of the hearing aid which is worn behind the ear. They are suitable for various types of hearing loss, and can be adjusted to suit your preferences.
These are some of the most common hearing aid types, and the choice of which one is the most suitable depends on the individual's requirements, lifestyle, and whatever preferences they may have. It is strongly advised to consult an audiologist, or hearing care professional when looking to obtain a hearing aid. Lip reading lessons are not designed to offer advice about hearing aids, or the best type of assistive technology, so it is important to get some expert advice.
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