What Type of Hearing Aid Is Right for Me?

People of every age and walk of life can experience hearing loss. Unfortunately, many who could benefit from hearing aids delay treatment until their symptoms are so profound that they can’t communicate, even in the most optimal environments.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Advancements in technology have made hearing aids better than ever. On top of that, there are numerous styles and fits, ensuring that you can find the perfect option based on your ear, your personal preferences, and your type of hearing loss.

Hearing aid technology isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Now, there’s a wide variety of styles, whether you want something sturdy and easy to handle or tiny and incredibly discrete.

Where do you start? Kevin Sharim and his team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals have the expertise you need to guide you through your hearing aid options. With 60-day free trials, house calls with appointments, and in-house service, you can purchase your new device with confidence.

Do you need a hearing aid? Here are a few style considerations to help get you started.

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

As the name implies, a BTE device has a small case that rests behind the ear. This piece connects to an earpiece or earmold with clear, thin tubing.

BTE hearing aids are relatively sturdy and easy to clean and handle, making them an excellent solution for moderate to severe hearing loss. However, they can require a bit of manual dexterity for proper ear insertion and placement. 

They can also accommodate different types of earmolds, making them a good option for growing children.

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) 

A RITE device still uses a plastic container behind that year, but it’s usually much smaller in size than a BTE. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as a “mini” BTE. 

The advantage of a RITE is that it usually doesn’t seal the ear canal. Instead, the soft earpiece sits inside this space, giving users a more natural sound experience. RITEs also tend to come with less feedback, increased comfort, and a more discrete solution.

This option provides excellent results for people with mild to severe hearing loss. However, like the larger BTE, RITE devices require manual dexterity. 

In-the-ear (ITE) aids

Unlike BTE and RITE devices, the ITE hearing aid fills the outer part of your ear where sound enters the canal. They come in full- and half-shell sizes, custom-made to your ear.

ITEs offer a discreet fit, but their size makes them easier to handle than other hearing aids. They can help with moderate to severe hearing loss.

In-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids

If you like the idea of an ITE hearing aid but want something even more discreet, consider these options. ITC and CIC devices are similar to ITC hearing aids, but they fit further inside your canal, making them far less visible. However, their smaller size makes them slightly harder to handle and adjust.

CROS/BiCROS

A hearing aid solution if you have normal hearing to minimal hearing loss in one ear but no hearing in the other is the CROS/BiCROS system. These devices enable users to wear a microphone on the ear with poor or no hearing. This gets paired with a hearing aid on the better-hearing side. 

When activated, the CROS/BiCROS system allows a person to hear sounds received by the poor ear, but they get delivered to the better ear. For example, if someone speaks to you in your “bad” ear while wearing a CROS/BiCROS hearing aid, their words get delivered to your “good” ear, making them easier to hear.

How to find the perfect hearing aid

This is only the beginning when it comes to finding the right hearing aid. Additional features include directional microphones, Telecoils (T-coils), and direct audio inputs — an option to deliver sound directly from your TV or other audio devices.

Our team has devices from seven different manufacturers: 

We can help you find the right match based on your needs. 

Are you ready to get hearing aids? Schedule a consultation with our Sharp Hearing Care Professionals experts in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Tarzana, or Santa Monica, California, today.

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