If you struggle with hearing, you’re certainly not alone. It is estimated that one in three adults over the age of 65 experiences some degree of hearing loss. The good news is it’s easy to remedy this problem and get your hearing back. There are plenty of different options of hearing aids near Rahway audiology clinic that are available to help people with hearing loss.
There are several different types of hearing aids available today, including digital and analog models, in-the-ear styles, custom devices, and hybrid designs. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on an individual’s needs and comfort level.
Here is a breakdown of the most common types of hearing aids as well as what you need to know about each option to see which one might be right for you.
Analog Hearing Aids
Analog hearing aids are the most common type of device used to treat hearing loss. In fact, many of the earliest hearing aids used in the 1940s were analog models. These types of hearing aids rest behind the ear and are connected to a pair of earmolds that fit into the user’s ear canal.
The hearing aids generally look like headsets, but with a tubing system that connects to the earmolds. Along with amplifying sound, analog hearing aids can also be programmed to filter out certain frequencies, such as the hum of a fridge or the sound of a nearby vacuum cleaner. The sound is processed through an electromagnetic system inside the hearing aid, which results in a lower-quality sound.
Digital Hearing Aids
Like analog hearing aids, digital hearing aids are designed to treat mild to moderate hearing loss by amplifying incoming sounds. Digital hearing aids, however, process sound in a much different way. Instead of using electromagnetic circuitry as analog devices do, digital hearing aids utilize a computer chip to process sound. Because the sound is being processed via computer, the resulting sound is much clearer than that of an analog hearing aid.
In fact, most people claim that digital hearing aids sound as close to natural as possible while still providing the amplification they need. Along with sounding better than analog models do, digital hearing aids also have a few other advantages as well. For example, digital hearing aids can be programmed to sound different depending on the situation, such as by increasing volume in certain environments.
In-The-Ear Hearing Aids
In-the-ear hearing aids, commonly referred to as ITE hearing aids are a type of hearing aid that rests entirely within the ear canal, extending out just enough to ensure a proper fit. While these hearing aids are extremely discreet and rarely cause any social stigma or embarrassment, they do have a few limitations that might make them a less than ideal option for some. Because the device is inside the ear, it can be difficult for people with hearing loss in both ears to distinguish between sounds that come from different directions. Because the device extends just far enough into the ear canal to fit securely, there is a risk of it becoming dislodged if the user is exposed to high decibel levels, such as on a construction site or in a busy street. Because the device is entirely inside the ear canal, it’s also more difficult to clean and keep sanitary than other types of hearing aids are.
Custom-Made Hearing Aids
Custom-made hearing aids are, as the name suggests, devices that are completely custom designed for a specific patient. While these devices are often more expensive than other hearing aids, they are also tailored specifically to an individual’s unique hearing loss and personal preferences. Because each hearing aid is custom built for one person, the device will fit perfectly in the ear and be comfortable.
This is helpful because a custom-made device is less likely to become dislodged or fall out of the ear than a standard device is. Custom-made hearing aids offer a lot of flexibility for people who have trouble finding a comfortable and functional hearing aid even after trying several different styles. They are also helpful for people who have specific needs or preferences in a hearing aid that aren’t met by other devices. Custom-made hearing aids are also usually covered by most private health insurance providers.
Hearing aids are devices that are meant to help people with hearing loss regain some functionality in the way of hearing. Many types of hearing aids exist, and each type is built to serve a different need and type of hearing loss. Different types of hearing aids include analog, digital, in-the-ear, and custom-made devices. Before choosing a type of hearing aid, it is important to do some research and learn about each type to see which one might be the best hearing aids for you.