If you have a hearing problem, amplification is usually the most effective tool to help you hear better, and hearing aids are the most common form of amplification. Hearing aids come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be customized as desired. Many hearing aids can also be equipped with rechargeable batteries.
Many hearing aids have features that can help in different communication situations. For example:
- Most hearing aids can be programmed to use a more directional microphone setting. This may help you converse in noisy environments by emphasizing sound coming from in front of you and diminishing sounds around you. The sound coming from in front of you (as during a face-to-face conversation) is amplified to a greater level than sound behind you.
- Feedback suppression helps suppress squeals when a hearing aid gets too close to the phone or has a loose-fitting earmold.
- A Telecoil (T-coil) setting enables more flexibility when using a landline telephone. It also turns off the microphone on your hearing aid so you can talk without your hearing aid “whistling.”
- Many theaters, houses of worship, arenas, and similar large areas are equipped with Hearing Loop technology that transmits sound directly into hearing aids and similar devices equipped with T-coil technology.
Hearing Aid Styles
Behind-the-ear (BTE) Aids
A small plastic case that contains the electronics and rests behind the ear is connected to an earpiece by a piece of clear tubing. This style is often chosen for young children because it can accommodate various earmold types, which need to be replaced as the child grows. Also, the BTE aids are easy to be cleaned and handled, and are available in a variety of colors.
Receiver-In-the-Ear (RITE)/ Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC)
RITE devices are also known as Receiver-in-the-canal (RICs). These aids are similar in appearance to the Behind-the-ear style, but the speaker is placed in the ear canal, providing enhanced and more natural listening.
As with BTE, the aids house most of the electronics in a case that fits behind the ear, and look similar to BTE devices, though they may be smaller. RITE devices are prescribed for mild to severe hearing loss and are available in a range of colors.
RITE speakers can be housed in a soft, clear plastic dome style:
and in custom earmolds housing the speaker:
This is the smallest type of hearing instrument available and is invisible in the ear — designed for people who want the ultimate in discretion. Sitting deep inside the ear canal, IIC instruments are custom made and are typically recommended for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss, and whose ear canals are wide enough for them to fit.
This extremely small hearing instrument, a little bigger than an IIC device, is almost invisible in the ear. CIC instruments are custom made and are recommended for people with ear canals large enough for them to fit.
These hearing instruments are appropriate for mild to severe hearing loss. Due to their larger size, ITEs can accommodate features such as directionality, which makes speech easier to understand in noisy situations, multiple listening programs, and Telecoils for telephones and assisted listening devices. These instruments may also easier to handle for many people.
Note: In addition to making sure your hearing is equipped to take advantage of T-coil technology, at M.O.S.A. Audiology, we also provide Telecoil systems for homes, auditoriums, classrooms, meeting rooms and similar large spaces.