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The Different Types of Hearing Aids

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A hearing aid is a battery powered device that controls the transfer of sound to your inner ear from the environment. All these devices function by amplifying the sounds and making them louder, for you to hear well.  Many manufacturers of these aids today are gradually phasing out the analog models and switch to producing digital models hearing aids.

If you suspect you are suffering from a hearing loss, contact a hearing care professional as soon as you can.  With the help of a hearing test, this professional will determine whether a hearing loss is present or not, and whether or not you need a hearing aid.  The signs that will tell there is a hearing loss present are the following:

* You hear, but do not understand what has been said,
* Find difficulty hearing the TV, radio and telephone,
* Feel that people talk very fast, so you ask them to repeat what they said,
* Have difficulty hearing when there is background noise like in a social gathering or a restaurant,
* Experience pain, ringing or fullness on one or both ears, and
* Find it more difficult to hear female voices than the male.

The hearing test that you will need to undergo will confirm that you need to have a hearing aid.  There are various types of hearing devices, and all of them are composed of the same parts that carry sound from the environment to your ear.  They differ only in styles and the manner they are positioned in your ear. 

1.  Completely-In-The Canal

This is the least noticeable of all types, designed to fit inside the ear canal.  This can help improve mild to moderate hearing problem in adults.  This type is easy to use with the telephone. However, due to small size, this model does not have features like directional microphone and volume control.  It also uses smaller batteries, which do not last long.

2.  In-The-Canal

This model partly fits in the ear canal and can aid in mild to moderate hearing problem in adults.  You may want to get this type after your hearing test. This is less visible, and is also easy to use with the telephone.  The in-the-canal type may not fit well in ears that are smaller.

3.  Half Shell

This is the bigger version of #2, and fills the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (the lower portion).  The half shell is easier to handle compared to smaller types and has additional features like volume control and directional microphones.  It fits most ears.

4.  Full Shell (In-The-Ear)

It fills the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear, and helps in mild to severe hearing loss.  This type is more visible, may pick up wind noise and has helpful features such as easy-to-adjust volume control. The larger batteries used with this type last longer.

Other types of hearing aids are the Behind-The Ear and the Open Fit, which are recommended for people of all ages and all types of hearing loss.  You can decide which type of hearing device you want to get after your hearing test results say that you need the aid.

Looking to get a hearing aid? Get a hearing test done first.


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  • Posted On April 2, 2012
  • Published articles 10

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