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Types of Hearing Aids
Many people are not even aware that there are different types of hearing aids that can be purchased. When someone mentions hearing aids, most people probably just think of the beige kind that fits around the ear. While these are certainly popular and probably among the most prevalent hearing aid used. Here is a brief breakdown of the different types and what they entail.
1. In-The-Canal/Completely-In-The-Canal Hearing Aids- These types are very compact. They fit snugly inside their own case and are placed either partially or completely within the ear canal. These are the smallest types of hearing aids available and many wearers enjoy the cosmetic advantages that they bring.
2. In-The-Ear Aids- These work similarly to the in-the-canal variety of hearing aids but are slightly larger. They are also contained in their own shell but fit in the outer part of the ear versus the inner part of the ear. Many people think they are easier to handle over their smaller cousins.
3. Behind-The-Ear Aids- These aids are contained in a small plastic case that fit behind the ear. A tube connects the outer casing to an earmold which all rest behind the ear. This style is most often used when children are in need of hearing aids because of their enhanced safety and also because they do not interfere with growth.
4. Open-Fit Behind-The-Ear- These hearing aids are similar to the ones designed for children but have a few weeks that make them strictly for adults. The hardware is enclosed in a small plastic case and a tube runs directly into the ear canal. A soft silicone tip inserts into the ear canal which is used to hold the tube in place. This option is great for those who worry about cosmetic aspects.
5. Receiver-In-Canal- These have a strong resemblance to the behind-the-ear hearing aid but they possess one significant difference. The acoustic tube that is found in the Behind-The-Ear version is replaced by a receiver that actually sits within the ear canal. They are typically used by adults and are favored because of their cosmetic advantages.
6. Extended Wear- These hearing aids are not as common but are very useful in instances of the wearer being very active in sports. They can be left in for months at a time and are then removed and replaced with a new device. They are inserted non-surgically but still must be inserted by a trained audiologist. They are fitted in such a way that moisture cannot leak into the ear canal and can be worn while swimming. showering, and other water activities.
7. Middle Ear Implants- These hearing aids are most often used by people who have a complete lack of hearing in one ear. They consist of two portions: an outer piece and an internal piece that is implanted and works by vibrating the structures in the middle ear. One recent technological advancement is to have the piece inserted into special glasses, which also work to vibrate middle ear structures.