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How to Choose the Right Hearing Aids

audiologist is showing her patient new hearing aid styles

You may think you’re familiar with hearing aids, but the range of hearing solutions on the market is increasing all the time. With new technologies comes new features, better qualities and a whole choice of extras. However, choosing the right hearing aid can be tricky when there are so many options available.

While your audiologist will help you to determine which type of hearing aid is the most effective for you, you may still have several different styles to choose from. Behind-the-ear, completely-in-canal and invisible-in-the-canal are three of the most popular options, but bone-conducting hearing aids and CROS/BiCROS hearing aids are available too.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids

Also known as standard or traditional hearing aids, behind-the-ear solutions come in two parts. One sits in the ear, while the rest of the aid sits outside, just behind the ear. These may be slightly older in design, but they’re still one of the most popular hearing solutions on the market. Sounds quality tends to be lower than other, more advanced, hearing aid options, but many wearers are satisfied with the improved hearing function they obtain from behind-the-ear hearing aids.

Completely-in-canal hearing aids

Completely-in-canal hearing aids are a subset of in-the-ear hearing solutions, and, as the name suggests, they fit snugly within the ear itself. Suitable for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss, completely-in-canal options are hardly noticeable when they’re in place, and they can deliver a superior natural sound quality too. With custom-fit models available, you can opt for a completely-in-canal hearing aid which is created to fit your ear perfectly, so comfort is guaranteed.

Patients who find it difficult to distinguish where the sound is originating or who struggle to hear high-frequency sounds may benefit from in-the-ear hearing aids, such as a completely-in-canal option, as these allow the ear to function naturally and funnel external noise.

Invisible-in-the-ear hearing aids

Another in-the-ear option, invisible-in-the-ear hearing aids sit deep in the ear canal and aren’t visible to other people. People won’t know you’re wearing a hearing aid unless you tell them. Using micro-engineering, manufacturers have even developed invisible-in-the-ear hearing aids, which can be worn for long periods of time, so you won’t necessarily have to spend time maintaining your hearing aid.

Made from various different materials, the hearing aid dome, which fits inside your ear, provides a long-lasting fit. While manufacturers may use different materials to develop their own solutions, many rely on silicone for the dome element of invisible-in-the-ear hearing aids, due to the increased comfort and reliability it offers.

CROS/BiCROS hearing aids

Designed for patients who experience hearing loss in one ear only, CROS hearing aids effectively pick up sound from one side and deliver it to your hearing ear. Alternatively, BiCROS models pick up sounds from both sides and amplify it, before delivering it to your hearing ear. Effective for patients who have been diagnosed with hearing loss in one ear, CROS and BiCROS hearing aids are a single-sided hearing solution which suits a number of wearers.

Bone-conducting hearing aids

Distinctively different from other hearing solutions, bone-conducting hearing aids use vibrations to deliver sound directly to the cochlea through the skull. Most suited to patients who don’t gain any benefit from conventional hearing aids or patients who have been diagnosed with a conductive hearing loss, bone-conducting aids can be fitted in two ways.

Patients can choose to wear glasses, or a headband which have a bone conductor attached to them, or a surgery can be carried out to fit something more permanent directly to the bone. A bone-anchored hearing aid is then affixed, with negates the need for glasses or a headband.

Hearing aid options to consider

When you’re selecting your hearing aids, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle. Many manufacturers produce hearing aids which are water-resistant, smartphone compatible, and there are even models designed to track your hearing and activity. Depending on your day-to-day activities, choosing a hearing aid which combines these features could provide you with a superior solution to hearing loss.

Of course, your choice of hearing aid should always be guided by your audiologist. Although there is an ever-growing selection of hearing aids to choose from, some will be more suited to your particular needs than others. With professional assistance and expertise, you can determine exactly what type of hearing aid is right for you, and which style or model will enable you to carry out your everyday activities more easily.

To learn more about the different types of hearing aids available, contact Listen Hear Diagnostics today at 347-450-9872.