Hearing Aids Overview
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles and technology levels, depending on the needs and lifestyle of the hearing impaired individual. A basic hearing aid will provide the wearer with increased volume, and is suitable for one on one conversations in a quiet environment. As the listening environment becomes more complex, the hearing aids need more features to compensate. Advanced hearing aids will use digital features to automatically adjust to the wearer's environment, reducing background noise and focusing on desired sound sources to maximize understanding.
Styles of Hearing Aids
WIth advances in technology, hearing aids have become available in many sizes and styles, depending on the needs of the wearer and their personal preference. There are many options that are discreet and stylish, eliminating much of the stigma associated with hearing aid use.
Hearing aid styles include:
- Behind The Ear (BTE): Typically used for severe to profound hearing losses, these hearing aids are worn behind the ear and are attached to a rubber tube that fits into a custom ear mold. BTE's tend to use a larger battery as the higher volume will require more energy.
- Receiver In The Ear (RIE): Suitable for almost any hearing loss from mild to severe, depending on the accessories used. These very tiny behind the ear hearing aids are connected by a plastic coated copper wire to a speaker inside the ear, which is available in multiple power levels.
- In The Ear (ITE): Typically used for moderate to severe, flat hearing losses. This style of hearing aid is custom made to fit and fill the inside of the ear.
- In The Canal (ITC): Smaller version of the ITE taking up less of the outer ear. Not suitable for anything above a moderately severe hearing loss.
- Completely In The Canal (CIC): Tiny custom hearing aids that are difficult to see from the outside. These hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, but often sacrifice wireless connectivity and accessory use to achieve their small size.
- Remote Microphone: Available as an option for most custom hearing aids, the microphone is removed from the body of the hearing aid and placed higher in the ear to reduce feedback and wind noise distortion.
- Noise Plugs: Solid silicone earmolds designed to reduce the volume of loud environmental sounds. Suitable for work or recreational use. Available with handles or strings.
- Sleep Plugs: A thinner version of the noise plug designed to fit comfortably in the ear while sleeping to reduce outside noises including snoring.
- Swim Plugs: Custom earmolds used to prevent water from entering the ear canal. Frequently used by children or people with damaged eardrums.
- ER Musician's Plugs: Ear plugs with interchangeable filters that reduce volume while maintaining the frequency response of music for proper sound.
- Berna-Buds: Bluetooth headphones with tips custom made to fit the ear.
Hearing Aid Products and Accessories by Manufacturer
Bluetooth Hearing Aids
In recent years hearing aids have begun to utilize bluetooth technology to connect directly to cell phones, tablets and various proprietary accessories. With this technology many hearing aids can provide a direct connection to a smart device, allowing for hands free calling, streaming audio and remote control apps.
Cell phone accessories
Some cell phones are compatible with telecoil technology, but for the most part new ways of connecting are required. If your hearing aids are not bluetooth compatible, the different manufacturers offer proprietary devices to bridge the gap. By wearing a small accessory eigher around your neck, or clipped onto your clothing (depending on the manufacturer's design) you can also experience hands free calling and streaming audio through your hearing aids.
ReSound provides excellent sound by offering innovative hearing solutions that combine original thinking and design with solid technology - all based on deep audiological insight and understanding of hearing aid users.
At Widex, we combine years of understanding with a natural curiosity in finding solutions to individual hearing loss. Our uncompromising approach to innovation has led to such advances as the world’s first fully digital in-the-ear hearing aid, as well as our own revolutionary wireless technology.