In a general sense, hearing aids are miniature sound systems. Sound is picked up by a microphone which then amplifies it and delivers the now-louder sound to the ear by way of a tiny loudspeaker.
Many people think of hearing aids as large, attention-drawing devices, but due to technological advances in the hearing healthcare field, they can now go virtually unnoticed.
We offer many types of hearing aids from several manufacturers, including the latest digital technologies. L.A. Audiology Clinic Ltd. is dedicated to providing ongoing service and support.
A number of styles of hearing instruments are available and include the following:
CIC/MC (Completely-in-the-Canal, Mini Canal)
This is the smallest type of hearing aid and it is the most inconspicuous in the ear. This type of hearing aid is custom-fitted for each individual ear and requires good dexterity to insert. The hearing aid battery is very small which means it has a shorter battery life. This type of hearing aid is an option for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and not suitable for people with severe hearing losses.
This type of hearing aid is larger than the CIC & MIC, but is still small in size. This type of hearing aid is custom fitted for each ear and still cosmetically appealing, being only slightly visible. This type of hearing aid also requires good dexterity. The hearing aid battery is larger than the CIC & MIC, which means that it has a slightly longer battery life. This type of hearing aid is an option for people with mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
ITE/Half Shell (In-the-Ear, Half Shell)
This type of hearing aid is larger in size, filling the full concha area or lower half of the concha area for the half shell product. These types of hearing aids are also custom fitted for each ear. These sizes of hearing aids are easier to handle and have a longer battery life. The half shell hearing aid is an option for people with mild to moderately severe hearing losses, and the full shell ITE is an option for people with mild to severe hearing losses.
Open Fit Technology with Micro Behind-the-Ear
This type of hearing aid is similar to behind-the-ear style because the amplifier and electronics sit on top of the ear. However, this type of hearing aid is much smaller in size and the tubing that brings the sound to the ear is ultra-thin. A small flexible tip or small custom fit tip attaches to the slim tube and sits in the ear canal. This type of hearing aid results in an open fit without ”plugging” the ear, resulting often in a more comfortable fit and a more natural sound, and can eliminate problems with how your own voice sounds to yourself. Depending on the manufacturer the battery size may be very small with short battery life or slightly larger with slightly longer battery life. This type of hearing aid is best suited for individuals with mild to moderate high frequency sensorineural hearing loss.
This type of hearing aid fits behind the ear with tubing and a custom made ear mold that directs the sound into the ear canal. This type of hearing aid is easier to handle and provides people with less of a “plugged up” feeling. The hearing aid battery is larger, providing the longest battery life and the most power capabilities out of all the styles of hearing aids. There is also now a micro size of BTE (which has a smaller battery, meaning a short battery life for micro size BTE). The micro size BTE is more cosmetically appealing for some individuals. Regular size BTE’s are an option for people with mild to profound hearing loss. The micro BTE is an option for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Regular BTE hearing aids are especially recommended for children; they are FM compatible.
A personal FM system is the most widely used assistive listening device, designed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for the listener and reduce the effects of poor acoustics. A personal FM system consists of a microphone transmitter used by the speaker (or connected to an external device such as a television, computer, etc.) and an amplifier-receiver(s) used by the listener. The receiver(s) transmit the sound to the listener’s hearing aid either through direct audio input (Behind-the-ear hearing aid(s) with DAI) or through a looped cord worn around the neck with hearing aid in t-coil or microphone/t-coil mode, or via earphones. There are no wires connecting the transmitter to the receivers. Signals from the transmitter are sent to the receiver(s) via FM radio waves. Personal FM systems are useful in a variety of situations, such as: restaurants, classrooms, meetings, social activities, places of worship, and watching television, to name just a few. Some personal FM transmitters are Bluetooth and can be synced to Bluetooth devices such as cell phones.
Assistive Listening Devices
These are any type of device that can help an individual function better in day-to-day communication situations, such as personal FM systems, amplified telephones, and vibrator alarm clocks, as well as other visual systems and alerting devices.
For more information about the various types of hearing aids, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our staff today.