The Different Hearing Aids Styles (Part 1)
Hearing aid manufacturers usually have several series of all models/variants of hearing aids. The hearing aid that suits you depends not only on your hearing loss but also on the shape of your ear, your life situation, and more. The model of hearing aid your acquaintance has may not necessarily be the one you should have. That’s because the audiologist performs a hearing examination and then adapts the hearing aids individually based on your specific needs. In this post, we’ll show you the various hearing aids styles and how they’d be best for your lifestyle.
Behind-the-ear devices are the most common type of hearing aid and are suitable for most hearing impairments. The sound is led from the device through a thin plastic tube to the insert (popularly called the “plug”), located in the ear canal. A significant advantage of these devices is that they can have more functions than smaller hearing aids in the ear. A directional microphone, volume control, and telecoil, for example, are almost always available. Many behind-the-ear devices also have an external electrical input for connecting accessories directly to the hearing aid, such as FM receivers. The behind-the-ear device is also the type of hearing aid with the most durable assistance. That’s because it is not exposed to wax or much moisture behind the outer ear.
When you try out hearing aids, it can be good to have the opportunity to feel how the hearing aid works in everyday life before you decide. And this is entirely possible with a behind-the-ear device, as only the insert is individually tested. An in-ear device (see in the second part of this article) is shaped according to your ear canal, so it cannot be tested in advance. Even behind-the-ear devices can be tiny. At the very least, they are for mild hearing loss in the treble and are called “micro-devices.” These usually have fewer functions than other devices, but some may have a telecoil.
Inserts for Behind-the-Ear Devices
- The Material In the Insert / “Plug”
There are rigid inserts of acrylic and softer silicone. For molded inserts, hard materials are mainly chosen since soft materials are perceived as warmer and cause more moisture in the ear canal. Molded soft inserts close more tightly, which reduces the risk of rounding (howling) in severe hearing impairments that require strong hearing aids. Soft inserts are also suitable for children and the elderly who need to rest during the day with their hearing aids on; it will be more comfortable than with hard inserts.
- Itching and Eczema
Should you have any issues such as itching, eczema, and “runny ears,” try the inserts using inserts that are as “airy” as possible, with additional ventilation holes drilled if possible. Perhaps it is possible to try a hearing aid with an open insert instead of a molded one. It is also possible to try different materials in the insert, which are more allergy-friendly; your audiologist will help you with this. In case of severe skin problems, a referral to a dermatologist may be necessary. All hearing aid users should wash the inserts regularly and avoid picking at the ears for better ear hygiene.
The insert sits in the ear itself and goes in a bit at the ear canal’s beginning. The insert guides the sound from the hearing aid further into the ear canal and holds it. Today’s inserts usually have good ventilation of the ear canal. If a person has a more severe hearing loss and needs more reinforcement, inserts that are denser are used to avoid rotation, making the hearing aid howl. An insert for a behind-the-ear device is made of plastic or silicone and can have different looks. In case of allergic problems in the ear canal, it can be good to try other insert materials. Some people even decorate their hearing aids with pearls!
Do you need hearing aids in Loudon, TN? Contact Choice Audiology, Dr. Tripp, and her team can help you choose from an extensive selection of standard and custom hearing aids.