Hearing Aids
All hearing aids contain the same parts to carry sound from the environment into your ear. However, hearing aids do come in a number of styles, which differ in size and the way they're placed in your ear.

Completely in the canal (CIC)

These are molded to fit inside your ear canal and can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A CIC hearing aid:

  • Is the least noticeable in the ear?
  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise because the ear protects the instrument?
  • Is easy to use with the telephone ?

In the canal (ITC)

These are custom molded and fit partly in the ear canal, but not as deeply as the CIC. This hearing aid can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A ITC hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear
  • Is easy to use with the telephone

Behind the ear (BTE)

BTE hearing aids hook over the top of your ear and rest behind the ear. The hearing aid picks up sound, amplifies it and carries the amplified sound to an ear mold that fits inside your ear canal. This type of aid is appropriate for almost all types of hearing loss and for people of all ages.

A BTE hearing aid:

  • Is the largest, most visible type of hearing aid, though some new versions are smaller, streamlined and barely visible
  • Is capable of more amplification than are other hearing aid styles

Open fit

These are very small BTE-style devices. Sound travels from the instrument through a small tube or wire to a tiny dome or speaker in the ear canal. These aids leave the ear canal open, so they are best for mild to moderate high-frequency losses where low-frequency hearing is still normal or near normal.

A open-fit hearing aid:

  • Is less visible
  • Doesn't plug the ear like the small in-the-canal hearing aids do
  • Uses very small batteries
  • Lacks manual adjustments due to the small size
If you have hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss), then you are most likely a candidate for two hearing aids.

Why two hearing aids are better than one?

  • Better understanding of speech.
  • Better understanding in group and noisy situations.
  • Speech intelligibility is improved in difficult listening situations when wearing two hearing aids.
  • Better ability to tell the direction of sound. In a social gathering, for example, localization allows you to hear from which direction someone is speaking to you. Simply put, with binaural hearing, you will better detect where sounds are coming from in every situation.
  • Better sound quality, you increase your hearing range from 180 degrees reception with just one instrument, to 360 degrees. This greater range provides a better sense of balance and sound quality.
  • Wider hearing range. A person can hear sounds from a further distance with two ears, rather than just one. A voice that's barely heard at 10 feet with one ear can be heard up to 40 feet with two ears.
  • Better sound identification. Often, with just one hearing aid, many noises and words sound alike. But with two hearing aids, as with two ears, sounds are more easily distinguishable.
  • Keep both ears active resulting in potentially less hearing loss deterioration. When only one hearing aid is worn, the unaided ear tends to lose its ability to hear and understand. This is clinically called the auditory deprivation effect. Wearing two hearing aids keeps both ears active.
  • Hearing is less tiring and listening more pleasant.
  • Greater comfort when loud noises occur.
  • Reduced feedback and whistling.

Logically, just as you use both eyes to see clearly, you need two healthy ears to hear clearly. Before you decide on one hearing aid, try two.
Top Hearing Aid Brands