If you’re living with hearing loss, you may be considering hearing aids. The type of hearing loss you have and your expected requirements from your hearing aids will determine which type is right for you.
The providers at ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, work with you to determine which type of hearing aids will be optimal for your needs and wants, and then continue to help you as you get used to wearing and using your new hearing aids.
Around 90% of adults with hearing loss have sensorineural hearing loss, which typically happens slowly over time due to aging or exposure to loud noises. With this type of hearing loss, your ability to hear can typically be improved with hearing aids.
Hearing aids typically have three main components:
Some hearing aid models have additional features, such as directional microphones and noise reduction programs, or wireless connectivity so you can use them as earbuds as well as hearing aids to stream audio.
There are several different types of hearing aids to choose from. For profound hearing loss, bone conduction hearing aids transmit sound signals through the bone of your skull to your inner ear, to be picked up and translated for your brain.
For most people with mild to mid-range hearing loss and no incapacity of the outer or inner ear, hearing aids that sit behind, in the bowl of, or in the canal of the ear are the usual choices.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids usually have a plastic curved “hook” that goes around the shell of the ear and holds the hearing aid in place. These are typically the least expensive type of hearing aid, and the easiest to keep track of, due to their size and the color choices available. However, if you wear glasses or play sports, they could prove problematic.
In the ear (ITE) hearing aids sit within the bowl of the ear, making them less visible than BTE hearing aids. There are two versions: one that fills the entire shell of the ear, and one that sits only in the lower half. Battery life for ITE hearing aids is long, but you usually can’t get features like Bluetooth or remote control options.
Completely in canal (CIC) hearing aids fit in the canal of the ear like a tight earplug, and have a small tab to pull on to remove them. These are a little weaker than BTE or ITE hearing aids, but they’re the most discreet.
The right hearing aid for your specific case depends on a range of factors: how much hearing loss you have, what part of your ear is affected, and whether or not you want a lot of bells and whistles. We help you understand your choices, with the pros and cons of each for your situation, and the rest is up to you.
Ready to get your first set of hearing aids? Schedule a consultation by calling the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.