When a person loses some ability to hear, they want to know what they can do to prevent further loss and hear better overall. The solution is often a hearing aid. These devices have become miracles of tiny computerization in recent years. They have wireless connectivity, binaural connections, smart hearing environment control and more.
Styles of Hearing Aids
Hearing device choices come in many sizes and types. Here are the main styles:
- In the ear (ITE): The ITE is an amplifier mounted in an earmold that fits the outer ear.
- Invisible in canal (IIC): IIC hearing devices are the smallest and lightest available and are recommended for moderate hearing loss.
- Completely in canal (CIC): CIC aids are slightly larger than IIC but remain small and powerful, and nearly invisible.
- Behind the ear (BTE): Sometimes, it is necessary to put the electronics and battery in a compartment that sits behind the ear. In this device, a tube runs to the amplifier in the ear canal. The controls and battery are easier to use than smaller devices.
- Receiver in the ear (RITE): RITE hearing aids offer a smaller behind the ear electronics package because the sound receiver is in the ear canal. These devices are recommended for mild to severe hearing loss.
The size of the hearing aid does not necessarily define its power; some smaller devices are as powerful as larger ones, but their batteries may not last as long. The style and size of device you choose will be dependent on your hearing needs since not all hearing aids are appropriate for every need.
Hearing Aid Batteries
When you purchase a hearing aid, there are several basics to learn about: how to insert and remove the device, how to turn it on and off, and how to clean it.
The need to protect hearing became more important with the advent of heavy industry about 150 years ago. Loud environments are dangerous for hearing. Today, hearing protection is a must in loud work environments, including music concerts. Hunting and shooting are particularly dangerous recreational environments. Swimmers and divers need hearing protection, too.
There are generic and specific hearing protection products available. Earphones and earplugs are the main types of protection, depending on the severity of the noise. Hunting earphones and earplugs are very popular. Earphones are worn in other loud, concussive environments like construction.
Hearing Aid Products and Accessories by Manufacturer
Captioned telephones (CapTel) are designed to help people see phone conversations. Since one of the main complaints about hearing loss is the inability to understand normal speaking voices, the CapTel helps by displaying all the words on a large screen as you are talking on the phone.
Listening and Communication Enhancement is a training program developed to help people understand and speak better in noisy environments. The training enhances hearing aid use and teaches skills like hearing one person when many are speaking, understanding in loud environments and filling in missed words through association.
There are many excellent hearing aid products and companies around the world. Here are some of the products we recommend (listed by manufacturer):
The Opn™ hearing system is an ITE hearing aid that electronically removes noise around you so you can hear a conversation. The Siya and Dynamo BTE hearing devices add power in smaller packages than other outside-the-ear hearing aids.
The Phonak Audeo Marvel is a multifunctional BTE hearing aid that is rechargeable, handles multiple apps and connects to your smartphone. The Virto™ B-Titanium is a tiny, light IEC product that offers superior sound for its size.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Check out our rechargeable hearing aids that feature high-quality noise reduction at a price that fits your budget!
This company offers the LiNX 3D and ENZO 3D hearing aids. Featuring “smart sound,” these hearing devices search for speech in loud environments and focus on the direct sound you want to hear.
Signia boasts the world’s leading line of rechargeable lithium-ion hearing aids. The Styletto Connect includes a miniature charging station to carry anywhere. The Motion Charge&Go Nx charges wirelessly and offers clear voice recognition.
Starkey features the Livio™ AI, an artificially intelligent hearing device that recognizes speech in loud areas, recharges and has a remote control. The company has a complete line of BTE power aids and IIC miniatures that fits any hearing need and lifestyle.
The Evoke™ is “The world’s first smart hearing aid,” according to Widex. Its Soundsense technology discerns voice sound and removes crowd noise. Evoke adjusts to environments, changing from parties to meetings and indoors to outdoor noise levels.