Varieties of Digital Hearing AidsAuthor: Matthew Kerridge
There are two different types of technology used in hearing aids. Analog hearing aids, which use conventional electronics, have been in use for over 40 years and generally work by simple amplification of sound. Though a programmable analog hearing aid is available, the more technologically advanced digital hearing aid is now much more common. About the Author:
Digital hearing aids convert sound into a digital format where each frequency can be separately amplified according to a programmable computer chip. This allows sound to be customized to a particular type of hearing loss. Some models may also adjust the hearing to different environments based on noise levels. Digital hearing aids can be more expensive but they generally produce the best results.
There are 4 varieties of digital hearing aids : Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC), and Completely In the Canal (CIC). Whichever model is chosen, most come in a variety of flesh tones.
Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids are composed of an electronic package which sits behind the ear. A small attached tube wraps over the ear, directing sound into the ear canal. They are useful for people with all types of hearing loss as they contain a larger battery and can produce greater amplification than other types. They are often recommended for children because of their solid construction, for elderly patients who may not have good manual dexterity and for patients with severe hearing loss because of their amplification and ability to attach to external sound devices.
In The Ear (ITE) hearing aids are easy to manipulate and can be used for a wide range of hearing loss. ITE hearing aids fit in the outer portion of the ear. As they are larger than some of the other models and contain a fairly large battery they can be used with a wide range of hearing loss and may offer a variety of user controlled features. They are also quite easy to handle which makes them also useful for patients with low manual dexterity.
The In The Canal (ITC) digital hearing aid is the most widely used style available. It fits into the outer portion of the ear canal and provides natural sound reception. It is small and quite discreet but still offers a large enough battery to be used for mild to moderate hearing loss. This variety of digital hearing aid is rarely prescribed for children as their ear canal will change in size as they grow. Disadvantages of this type include possible audio feedback, difficulty in manipulation of both batteries and adjustments and potential damage from earwax.
Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest available. They are placed entirely within the ear canal and virtually unnoticeable to observation. Though they are the most discreet, they have several drawbacks due to the small size of the battery which will only support mild to moderate hearing loss and will likely have to be replaced every few days. Due to its small size it is subject to the same limitations as the ITC hearing aid.
For more information about digital hearing aids please visit http://www.hearingaidsaver.co.uk.
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