Hearing aids are devices that are used to improve the hearing of people who are partially deaf. They can be so small as to fit in the ear without being visibly noticed or be hidden behind the frame of your eyeglasses. Basically, what hearing aids does is to amplify soft sounds.
Around the world, there are more than 1,000 different models of hearing aids in the market. However, all of them include a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver or a sticker and a battery. The microphone serves as the medium to receive sounds, the amplifier increases sound strength, and the battery serves as the power source.
It is not advisable to go out and pick just any hearing aid for use. Visit your audiologist for a hearing test in Malaysia. The test will determine the level of your hearing loss, and your audiologist will know the right hearing aid to prescribe.
Hearing aids are divided into several types:
- Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC)
- Completely-In-Canal (CIC)
- In-The-Canal (ITC)
- In-The-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
Hearing aids can be either “monaural,” that is, a single hearing aid, or “binaural,” that is, for both ears. Over 65% of all hearing aid users have binaural aids.
IIC styles are usually small and discreet. They are called invisible because they are usually difficult to see unless one carefully looks at the wearer. It is placed very deep in the ears, and they must be removed by tugging on a small pull-out string.
They are typically for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Because of their small size, they don’t come with manual controls, like volume wheels or program buttons.
The CIC hearing aids are just like the IIC described above. They are small and discreet.
However, they don’t sit quite so deeply within the ears. They are also fine for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The ITC hearing aids are those that sit in the lower portion of the outer bowl, thereby making them comfortable and easy to use.
They are slightly bigger than the IIC and CIC style, hence, they have longer battery life. The ITC styles fit a wider range of hearing losses.
Their size allows them to carry additional features like directional microphones for better comprehension in noisy environments, and other features like volume control.
ITEs are worn in the ear canal and are usually custom-fit, based on an impression that is taken by your audiologist at the time of your consultation.
They are usually available for different skin tones to blend with the outer ear.
Some ITE hearing aids fit very deeply within the ear canal, while others are closer to the outer ear.
RICs are also known as RITEs (receiver in the ear), depending on the manufacturer.
RICs are open-fit hearing aid style that has the speaker built into the insertable ear dome, instead of inserting the main body of the hearing aid. In other words, the speaker of the hearing aids rests in the ear canal, but the microphone and processor sit in a tiny case behind the ear.
It is connected by a thin, almost invisible wire. This type of hearing aid tends to have an above-average sound quality and is made by all major hearing aid manufacturers.
BTEs are those ones that sit behind or on top of the outer ear with tubing that routes the sound down into the ear canal through a custom-fit earmold or a dome style that doesn’t block the entire ear canal opening.
They are available in different colours to match hair and skin tone, as well as flashier designs for personalized flair. Some of them come with rechargeable batteries, while others come with replaceable batteries.
When it comes to hearing aids, there are multiple types and features available to suit different hearing loss needs.
It’s important to consider a number of different things when selecting the right style to fit your needs.
Visit a hearing aid centre to get the best diagnosis and hearing aid prescription for your needs.