If you have been told by your doctor that you need hearing aids, you will have the choice of choosing digital or analog. In the past, analog is what people wore, as digital was not available. Technology advanced and developed digital hearing aids. Below are the different styles and features of digital hearing aids so you can determine if they would be right for you.
Hearing Aid Styles
When you start looking at digital hearing aids, you will notice they are available in a variety of styles. Your doctor will help you choose what is best for you because this depends on the degree and type of hearing loss that you have. Four types of hearing aid styles you will find include:
- CIC (completely in canal): This is a very small hearing aid that fits deep into your ear canal and it is not visible to anyone.
- ITE (in the ear): This hearing aid fits inside the outer edge of your ear. It is visible but is also easier to insert and take out.
- BTE: (behind the ear): This hearing aid hooks to the outer part of your ear and will then rest on the back of your ear. It is shaped much like smartphone headsets.
- ITC (in the canal): This type of hearing aid works much like the CIC hearing aids but are not as deep into your ear canal.
Hearing Aid Features
All hearing aids have the features of a microphone that picks up sound, and an amplifier that allows you to increase or decrease the volume of sound. You can also add some features including:
- Directional microphone: Can be set to normal so you hear all sounds equally from all directions, or you can turn it on to listen to sounds in a specific location. You turn it on and off via a switch that is placed on the hearing aid.
- Telecoil switch: This feature lets you change from normal sound to telecoil sound, which allows you to hear better when you are talking on the phone. This is because the microphone on the hearing aid is turned off and you will not hear any sounds coming from the microphone.
- Direct audio input: This feature lets you plug in an FM assistive listening system or a remote microphone so you can connect your hearing aid to a television, computer, MP3 player, radio, or your computer.
Talk with your audiologist if you have any questions about the different types of hearing aid and features available.