All hearing aids on the market today are digital; that’s nothing new. They are all programmable based on your hearing loss and can be changed over time if your hearing loss changes. Hearing aids also have the capability to manage background noise to help you hear better in restaurants or crowded rooms; these things are also “old hat” for hearing aids. But these are not your grandma’s hearing aids! The sound quality of the aids and their ability to manage background noise have come a long way. Today’s hearing aids are night-and-day improvements over previous generations and now they also come equipped with cool features designed for active people; hearing aids have never been more integrated with our daily lives as they are today.

Let’s check out all the different kind of hearing aids that are on the market!

RIC, or receiver-in-the-canal aids are the most popular style. They come in different sizes and have lots of features which makes this style so versatile. Along with customized amplification based on your hearing loss and management of background noise that comes in all aids, some other possible features include:

 

* Rechargeability: never change batteries again

* Streaming: send cell phone calls, music, movies, etc., from your cell phone to your hearing aids

* Fitness tracking: monitor the number of steps you take and how active you are overall, both physically and mentally

* Fall detection: loved ones can get a text message letting them know you have fallen and need help

IIC, or invisible-in-the-canal aids are a popular custom hearing aid option. Depending on the size and shape of your ear canal, this is the most discrete hearing aid option available. It has a very small battery that you change every few days and you can make volume adjustments or switch to different programs using an app on your cell phone.

BTE, or behind-the-ear aids are great options for patients who need more powerful hearing aids or those who might have outer ear issues like chronic drainage from their ears or frequent ear infections. These aids have a clear tube that connects the aid to a custom-made earmold. Some of these aids may have many of the same features as RIC aids like streaming, fitness tracking, and fall detection.

ITE (in-the-ear, pictured left), ITC (in-the-canal, pictured center), and CIC (completely-in-the-canal, pictured right) aids round out the options for custom hearing aids from largest to smallest. Depending on the amount of hearing loss and size and shape of your canals, one of these styles may be best for you. There is currently no rechargeable option for these types of aids but some have options for streaming phone calls or music.

Most hearing aids have compatible accessories that can dramatically boost the benefit you get from wearing hearing aids. Accessories include items like:

Remote microphone: your conversation partner can wear a device on their collar that picks up their voice and sends it directly to your hearing aids to minimize the interference caused by loud background noise and distance. This is a great solution for crowded restaurants, places of worship, or lectures.

TV streamer: a small device can be connected to your television so the sound can be sent directly to your hearing aids. With this device, you can have the volume at a level that is comfortable for you without having to adjust the TV volume for everyone else in the house.

Streaming interface: if your hearing aids cannot connect directly to your cell phone, you can wear a device that will act as the go-between for your hearing aids and cell phone so you can stream phone calls hands-free to your hearing aids.

Remote control: if your hearing aids do not have a compatible cell phone app, a remote control would allow you to adjust the volume or change programs without having to find the buttons on the hearing aids.

Once your need for hearing aids has been established, your audiologist will discuss your lifestyle and communication needs and, together, you will choose the device that is best for you. Take the first step today by calling us at 330-779-8096 or click HERE to schedule your free consultation and find out all the things hearing aids can do for you.