If you have hearing problems, you may be able to wear a hearing aid.
A hearing aid is an electronic device that consists of a microphone, an amplifier, a loudspeaker and a battery. It increases the volume of sound entering your ear so that you may be able to hear things more clearly.
Modern hearing aids are very small and discreet and can often be worn inside your ear. Hearing aids are not suitable for everyone. Your Audiologist (hearing specialist) will be able to advise you about whether a hearing aid is suitable for you.
If a hearing aid is recommended for you, an audiologist will take an impression of your ear so that the hearing aid will fit you perfectly. The hearing aid will be adjusted to suit your level of hearing impairment.
You will also be shown how to use and care for it. After your hearing aid has been fitted, you will have a follow-up appointment one month later.
Behind the ear aids (BTE)
BTE aids consist of a case, an ear-mould or dome and a connection between them. The case sits behind the ear with the connection from the case coming down the front into the ear.
Mini BTE or Micro BTE
It also fits behind/on the ear, but is much smaller. A very thin, almost invisible tube is used to connect the aid to the ear canal. Mini BTEs may have a comfortable ear piece for insertion (“open fit”), but may also use a traditional ear-mould. Mini BTEs allow not only reduced occlusion or “plugged up/echoing” sensations in the ear canal, but also increase comfort, reduce feedback and address the cosmetic concerns for many users.
Receiver in the Canal / Ear aids (CRT / RIC / RITE / RIE)
BTE hearing instruments that place the loudspeaker (receiver) directly in the ear with/without a fitted ear-mould are often referred to as “Receiver in the Canal” instruments. These instruments use soft ear inserts, typically of silicone, to position the loudspeaker in the patient’s ear. Some of the advantages with this approach include improved sound quality, reduced case size, “open-fit” technology, reduced feedback and immediate patient fitting.
In-the-Canal Hearing aids (ITC)
This hearing aid is made to fit inside a person’s ear canal. It is very small and difficult for others to see. ITC models usually have a rotating manual volume control or a push button for program toggle.
Completely-in-Canal aids (CIC)
This hearing aid fits completely in a person’s ear canal and is also virtually unseen. The CIC is the smallest model in hearing aids. It is a custom made shell that contains all the electronic components. The shell is placed deeply in the ear canal, making the hearing aid almost invisible. A CIC therefore facilitates the cosmetic requirements of most of the clients. These aids are becoming increasingly popular as no one can actually see that you are wearing a hearing aid. Remote Control facility is available for manually controlling the volume and other sound quality parameters.
Invisible-in-the-canal aids (IIC)
These aids are smaller than CIC aids & they fit deeper into the ear canal. IIC are built to fit past the second bend of the ear canal, allowing the faceplate to be seated deeply in the ear, providing an invisible hearing aid fitting. The performance and cosmetic advantages of this fitting style appeal to a wide variety of hearing aid candidates, especially those who do not consider visible hearing aid as an option.
These aids are worn in a pocket or harness at chest level. It consists of the body of the hearing aid containing the microphone, amplifier and controls. A cord transmits the electrical output to a receiver, which converts this signal into sound. The receiver is attached to a mould, which holds it in place.