Hearing aids can greatly enhance your hearing if you have related problems. There are so many options in the market today, and the technology is always changing. Many people hesitate, curious about how the hearing aid will look or how well it will work. The following is a simple guide to help you understand the process of how we can help you with your hearing aid needs in Birmingham.
How do they work?
Almost all hearing aids have the same working parts that carry sound from the environment and amplify them in your ear. Digital hearing aids are the most common today and they are battery powered. They use small microphones that collect sound from the environment and send them to a computer chip with an amplifier that converts these sounds into a digital code. It is analyzed and adjusted based on your level of hearing loss and listening needs. After adjustments, the digital code is converted back into sound waves and delivered to the ear through a small speaker.
The different styles
Hearing aids available today vary in price, size and even special features. Technology today has allowed for the progressive development of smaller and less noticeable hearing aids although the greatest challenge so far is being able to pack the power to supply the level of improved hearing expected in such a small device:
- CIC or completely in the canal hearing aids are molded to fit entirely in the ear canal. This type of aid is suitable for adults with mild and moderate hearing loss. The advantage of CIC hearing aids is they are less likely to pick up wind noise.
- ITC or in the canal hearing aids are also custom molded but they only fit partly in the ear canal. They are less visible but larger than CIC and they also improve mild to moderate hearing loss. They include more features than the CIC.
- ITE or in the ear hearing aids come in two styles: either filling most of the bow shaped area of the outer ear or only the lower part of it. Both are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss. They include more features than the smaller style hearing aids such as volume control and larger batteries for longer battery life.
- BTE or behind the ear hearing aids Birmingham is what probably comes to mind when you think of hearing aids. This is the most conventional type that hooks over the tip of the ear to rest behind it. It has a tube that connects the aid to a custom earpiece in the ear mold. It is suitable for any type of hearing loss, has a variety of features and capable of more amplification than other hearing aids.
- RIC, receiver in canal, or RITE, receiver in the ear, are similar to BTE hearing aids but have tiny wires connecting the receiver to the hearing aid instead of tubing making it less visible.
If you live in or near the Birmingham area and think you may be a candidate for hearing aids, come see us for a full evaluation.