Hearing Aids

Types of Hearing Aids

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Hearing aids come in five main sizes and styles.

All hearing aids, from the basic amplifiers to the most complex technology, utilize digital signal processing. This allows for better feedback (whistling) control and better noise reduction capabilities. While hearing aids cannot and do not restore normal hearing, users can expect improved hearing, a comfortable fit, and an appropriately prescribed hearing aid for individual hearing losses.


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BTE: Behind-the-ear

BTE hearing aids are typically the most flexible devices and fit nearly all types of hearing loss. Earmolds can be made in all sorts of shapes and materials to fit your particular ear anatomy. This is the type of hearing aid that the younger population wears; new earmolds will be made periodically to fit on the hearing aid to compensate for a growing ear. BTE hearing aids can be made with directional microphones and may include a volume control and program button.


Mini-BTEs and Receiver-in-the-ear

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These are smaller BTE hearing aids that are appropriate for mild to moderate high-frequency hearing losses. Depending on the size of the hearing aid, they may utilize directional microphones and a program button. Some models have a piece of the hearing aid circuitry, the receiver, in the ear which typically gives a little high-frequency boost in sound.


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ITE: In-the-ear

ITE hearing aids are typically the easiest type of hearing aids to handle. They offer a very secure fit and fill up the concha portion of the ear. These types of hearing aids can be made with directional microphones and may house a volume control and/or program button.


ITC: In-the-Canal

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ITC hearing aids fit into the ear canal and fill up a portion of the concha. These may also be made with directional microphones, a volume control, or a program button.


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CIC: Cpmpletely-in-the-ear

ITE hearing aids are typically the easiest type of hearing aids to handle. They offer a very secure fit and fill up the concha portion of the ear. These types of hearing aids can be made with directional microphones and may house a volume control and/or program button.


The Hearing Aid Process

The first step to improved hearing is an evaluation and consultation on your specific hearing needs and lifestyle. Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as different technology levels. Some hearing aids will be made to break down a number of incoming sounds at a very high rate producing a precise, clear signal to the user. This results in clearer understanding of speech, even in the presence of background noise. Some hearing aids are very basic amplifiers and do not draw out speech from competing environmental noises as well as other types. This is why it is important to focus on your personal lifestyle and communication needs in order to use the best hearing aid for you. A type of hearing aid that works for one person might not produce the same result in the next.

After your hearing evaluation, consultation, earmold impressions, you will go through a hearing aid fitting and orientation. The hearing aid is programmed and measured in our office to make sure that how the aid functions is consistent with a prescription based on your hearing loss, age range, and hearing aid experience. This procedure should always be performed while the hearing aid is in your ear as your ear anatomy and the fit of the hearing aid will change the acoustic properties. You will also be counseled on hearing aid use and care as well as expectations. Ear Consultants of Georgia offers a 30-day trial period with hearing devices as we want to be sure that the type you try produces exceptional, measurable results. During these initial 30 days of use, patients typically have a fitting and a few follow-up appointments. Once you become an experienced hearing aid user, you should expect at least an annual visit. Some patients may even benefit from an aural rehabilitation (“ear training”) program, in which certain skills are applied to enhance communication. The treatment for hearing loss is as individual as you are and sometimes other communication strategies may be implemented.