There are many styles of hearing aids, and modern aid styles vary greatly, as do prices. In this article we will describe for you, all the basic styles, and this should mean that you will be able to select the best for you when you speak to the hearing aid company’s salesperson or representative.
There were until recently 4 basic styles of hearing aids, but we now think that there are five. There are variations on the basic styles, but they are quite easily categorised as follows:-
– Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
– Full Shell Hearing Aid
– Half Shell Hearing Aid
– Canal Hearing Aid
We will now describe them all one by one, starting with the cheapest and largest and ending with the smallest and most expensive.
Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids – also known as Postaural
These instruments were the first type developed after the original battery hearing aids which requireed a bulky battery and amplifier unit, which was kept in a pocket. They are the largest aid type commonly available and they do have the advantage of being suitable for those with all kinds of hearing loss from mild to severe.
The aim of technological development has been to reduce size in recent years, while improving clarity and volume.
BTE aids are the aid style most commonly provided free issue or with a subsidy, by health authorities worldwide.
Full Shell or ‘Concha’ Hearing Aids
These aids largely fill the ear, and do not require straps behind the ear. This makes them less visible, and less in the way when playing sports.
This style of aid is suitable for most hearing impairment types, although due to the reduced size of the hearing aid the amount of volume the instrument can provide is less than for the larger behind the ear type.
This is both the largest and the most economical style of in-the-ear hearing aid, although it is also less cumbersome and more comfortable than most behind the ear aids.
However, immediately the aid goes into the ear, the instrument becomes less visible, and cosmetically they are much liked by younger more image conscious users.
Half Shell or Half Concha Hearing Aids
This type only fills part of the ear, and for an energy source it uses smaller batteries than for the behind the ear types. It is smaller and more visually acceptable than a full concha hearing aid. All mất thính lực that can be seen in normal use is a small skin coloured blob in the users ear
Many people go for this style of hearing aid, on the basis that it has good style, has few compromises in its design, and has a very good performance and appearance. However, reduced size does not come with any downsides, other than this style is not usually found to be suitable for severe hearing impairment.
Canal or Mini-Canal Hearing Aids
‘Canal’ hearing aids rely on the fact that they are inserted into the ear canal, and stay in that position throughout. An unavoidable sacrifice is the small volume (output power) reduction that has to be made to achieve size reduction, also some features found in larger hearing aids may be lost. But many will make this trade-off happily in order to ensure that this style of aids are really small. A small skin coloured button over the ear canal is all that will be visible to the onlooker.
For those concerned about their good looks, these aid types are an excellent compromise between cost and functionality, and this aid type is very suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss patients.
Completely-In-the-Canal or CIC Hearing Aids
Now we are almost at the end of the line fo technological development. We have arrived at the smallest most expensive and cutting-edge hearing aid style which we think exists. We understand that the CIC aid style is suitable for a wide range of mild to moderate hearing loss patients.
There is very little to see to alert others to the fact that you are wearing a hearing aid with one of these. It is easily also the most concealed type and favoured hearing aid style of all of the model types available at present.
Many also say that the smaller the hearing aid, the more it is likely to be suitable for sporting lifestyles. In the end you make your own choice, and we hope that now you have read this article you will do it more quickly, and with better results, than you would have done without having read this.