When it comes to hearing aids, there are many different manufacturers and styles available, and finding the one that works best for you can seem overwhelming. You want to find one that suits your individual needs, and you'll want to make sure that your hearing aid of choice can be worn comfortably.
Hearing aids are separated into different style categories:
Completely in the canal (CIC)
CIC hearing aids fit directly into the ear canal and are the smallest and most discreet models. Their small size makes them less likely to pick up wind noise. Their small size can make them more difficult to use and they can lack the advanced features of other hearing aids. CIC hearing aids suitable for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Invisible-In-The-Canal hearing aids are one of the most popular hearing aid styles. They are the smallest, most discreet type of hearing aid, as they sit beyond the second bend of the ear canal and are totally invisible.
Extended Wear Lyric Hearing aids are a popular choice in this category. They are easy to operate and their use doesn't interfere with the user of other listening devices such as cell phones or headphones.
ITC hearing aids sit within the ear canal and the outer ear. They're slightly larger than CIC hearing aids and have more features. With Receiver-In-The-Canal hearing aids, you can swap out receivers instead or purchasing brand new hearing aids. This make makes ITC hearing aids an attractive, cost-effective choice.
ITE hearing aids sit in the outer ear and are generally more powerful than CIC or ITC hearing aids. They can be easier to handle and use a larger battery for longer battery life. They are more suitable for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids are worn behind the ear with a small ear piece delivering sound into the ear canal. These hearing aids are easier to adjust than other hearing aids and can give more amplification than other styles. This gives them a "one size fits all" quality to them. One downside is that they are not nearly as discreet as CIC or ITE hearing aids, so those who are self-conscious about wearing a hearing aid might want to consider a different option.
There are a wide range of add-ons and additional features available with many types of hearing aids. One of the most popular additions is syncing capability with your iPhone or iPod. This accessory utilizes Apple developed Bluetooth technology to provide the best possible experience for users while listening to music, during phone conversations, and when watching video.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aid
While there is technically no "best" hearing aid, there will be some models that will be more beneficial to you than others. There are plenty of options available, so consult with a doctor of audiology to learn about the latest innovations and find out which hearing aid and accessories are right for you and your lifestyle. Also be sure to take advantage of free trials and test different styles out to find your perfect fit and function.
For more pictures, view our hearing aid styles gallery.