Hearing aids are available in either a behind-the-ear (BTE) style, a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC: a mini BTE with part of the circuitry, the receiver, placed in the ear canal) or are fully contained in the ear. They either use disposable batteries or an integrated rechargeable battery.
The choice of hearing aid style will be determined by:
Inappropriate hearing aid choice can increase your level of hearing disability if you cannot manage the complexity, handling or size of your hearing aids.
Digital signal processing hearing aids are able to:
Hearing aid technology levels are set by the manufacturers to separate hearing aids into different performance and price categories.
These differences are largely based on noise processing features – the ability to detect and highlight a dominant speech sound in a noisy environment. Despite some of the marketing claims, no hearing aids can fully separate a voice from background noise or other voices.
The level of technological sophistication should be matched to your communication needs and budget. People who rarely communicate in groups or significant levels of background noise may not need a sophisticated and expensive level of hearing aid technology.
We encourage our patients to take their time to make their choice – we will provide the information and guidance that you need.