You would like to know more about what your next hearing aid could look like?
First, lets define what’s a hearing aid….
A hearing aid is an acoustic device that collects speech and environmental sounds, amplifies them, and then leads them to the user’s outer ear canal. Earlier hearing aids were known as ear trumpets or ear horns, fortunately the devices have evolved over the past century.
Modern hearing aids are miniature digital devices containing four main components.
- Microphone: Collects and transforms sound waves into an electric signal
- Amplifier: Amplifies the electric signal
- Receiver: Transforms the amplified electric signal into an acoustic signal and leads the sound waves into the ear
- Battery: The source of energy for the electrical components of the hearing aid
- Behind the ear (BTE): Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are the most common style of hearing aids. The amplified sound exiting the hearing aid worn behind the ear is lead through an attached tube into the outer ear canal. A custom made earmold is fitted in the user’s outer ear bowl to keep the hearing aid properly in place and to obtain the necessary acoustic seal. This style of hearing aid can be used for most types of hearing loss, and is the hearing aid largely recommended for children.
- In the ear (ITE): In the ear (ITE) hearing aids are molded to fit in the outer ear bowl of the ear. These hearing aids are not attached to a tube or an earmold. This type of hearing aid can be used in mild to several severe hearing losses.
- In the canal (ITC): In the canal (ITC) hearing aids are a smaller version of the ITE hearing aids. An ITC hearing aid fits in the bottom half of the outer ear bowl and can be used in mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
- Completely in the canal (CIC) : Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids fit inside the outer ear canal, leaving little or no visible evidence. Due to their size and difficult manipulation requirements, this style of hearing is not recommended for seniors.
- Receptor in the canal (RIC): Receptor in the canal (RIC) hearing aid is essentially a smaller version of BTE hearing aids with the addition of the receiver being placed directly in the ear canal. There is no earmold used with this device, the loudspeaker is placed in the outer ear canal using a soft ear silicone insert. These open fit hearing aids allow for natural low pitch sounds to enter the ear. They are limited to mild to moderately severe high pitch hearing losses.
- Bone Conduction Hearing Aid: A bone conduction hearing aid is worn with a headband and transmits sound through the temporal bone directly to the cochlea. This style of hearing aid is recommended for children who experience frequent middle ear infections and eardrum perforations to ensure proper speech development. It can also be useful for adults with a temporary conductive hearing loss who require amplification.
- Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA): BAHA is a treatment option for individuals who have a permanent conductive hearing loss due to aural atresia, ossicular discontinuity and other significant outer ear and middle ear dysfunctions. The bone anchored hearing aid is permanently placed on the temporal bone and requires a medical surgical procedure. This type of hearing aid transmits sounds directly to the cochlea, thus, the conductive aspect of hearing loss is disregarded. For more information about BAHA, please visit the cochlear website.
Did you know that if you need hearing aids, you need to take a hearing test first.
You will find all your hearing aid accessories right here.
Hany Ghonaim, audiologist
Hany is an audiologist that specializes in tinnitus, hearing loss for adults and vertigo. He has been serving ODYO’s clients for the past 5 years in the greater montreal area.