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Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

One of the most popular devices for treating hearing loss is a hearing aid. Hearing aids work by amplifying sound, making it easier to hear. They work best when they've been properly fit and adjusted by a hearing professional like those at Francis Audiology.

There are many different types of hearing aids, but most traditional hearing aids fit behind the ear (BTE). A conventional BTE hearing aid consists of electronic parts housed in a hard plastic case that's worn behind the ear, a plastic earmold that sits in the outer ear, and a tube that connects the two. BTE hearing adis work by sending amplified sounds from the case, through the tube, and into the ear mold.

Conventional BTEs are durable, easy to handle, and simple to care for. This makes them great hearing aids for seniors and younger kids alike. They are typically recommended to those with mild to moderate hearing loss, profound hearing loss, and people who are looking for the most durable hearing aid possible.

There are other kinds of BTE hearing aid styles available, too! An open-fit hearing aid is much smaller than a conventional BTE, making it more discreet. These hearing aids fit behind the ear completely, with only a small, virtually invisible tube inserted into the ear canal.

Open-fit hearing aids are often preferred by people who want the sound quality and durability of a conventional BTE, but without the visibility and 'plugged up' sound of their own voice. Open-fit hearing aids are also a good option for people who often experience earwax buildup.

In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

If behind-the-ear hearing aid devices sit b behind the ear, it makes sense that in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids would sit inside the ear! ITS are smaller hearing aids that are the most cosmetically discreet of the various hearing aid styles. Instead of housing the electronic parts of the hearing aid in a case behind the ear, everything is housed in a small shell that sits inside the bowl of the ear. In order to ensure the best fit, the shell is custom-made for each individual wearer.

ITE hearing aids are a good option for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Elderly hearing aid users with dexterity issues may find them difficult to handle, but because they are lightweight and compact, they're very comfortable and easy to manage for most adults. And because they sit inside the ear, they are typically not worn by young children, as the casings would need to be replaced often as their ear grows.

Some other small custom hearing aids include in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) styles. Whereas an ITE fills out the entire 'bowl' of the ear, ITCs sit within the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. CICs are even smaller, fitting completely within the canal and coming with a clear nylon string to help with insertion and removal. These smaller hearing devices are recommended for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, as their reduced size limits their power and volume.

Digital Hearing Aids

Hearing aid technology has come a long way since 1898, when the first electric hearing aid was invented. At Francis Audiology, we offer advanced digital hearing aid technology.

Though basic digital hearing aids can be used well in relatively quiet situations, like a one-on-one conversation, they have their limitations. In particular, since they're only able to amplify all sounds in exactly the same way, these basic devices fail to sufficiently deal with background noise, loud sounds, and reverberation. This can make it difficult to focus on and understand speech, especially in more challenging listening situations like a crowded restaurant or large gathering.

Advanced digital hearing aids are much more flexible. These hearing devices work to amplify softer sounds while treating loud sounds in a completely different fashion. These high-tech devices:

  • Have dual microphones on board, allowing you to hear better in noisy environments. Some even feature background noise reduction.
  • Are able to cancel out annoying feedback before you even hear it.
  • Automatically adjust to your environment, allowing for a much more natural hearing experience.
  • Can be programmed and adjusted with a computer during follow-up care to meet your individualized needs.

If you're looking for a hearing aid that will give you the most possible freedom and flexibility, a Bluetooth-enabled smart hearing aid is the way to go!

Assistive Listening Devices

A hearing aid by itself isn't always enough. Unlike hearing aids, assistive listening devices (ALDs) don't amplify sound. Instead, they work to improve the clarity and quality of sound by cutting out background noise and improving the signal-to-noise ratio.

One kind of ALD is a personal hearing amplifier. These devices are most useful for one-on-one conversations and other close situations. They typically involve a mic with a listening cord attached. However, FM, induction loops, and ultraviolet systems are used in louder settings, like lecture halls and stadiums, where the person you're trying to hear is further away.

In an FM system, the person wearing the hearing aid speaks into a microphone, which sends a signal to a transmitter. This device then sends the sound directly to the hearing aid, cutting out background noise. An induction loop system works similarly, but it uses a loop of wire instead of a transmitter. The signal is sent directly to the hearing aid, again cutting out distracting background noise.

An ultraviolet system is similar to an FM system, but it uses light instead of sound to transmit the signal. These systems are often used in theaters, where sound would be disruptive. The light is sent to a receiver, which then sends the signal to the hearing aid.

If you have difficulty hearing even with a hearing aid, an ALD can be a great way to improve the clarity and quality of sound. At Francis Audiology, we can help you find the perfect ALD to suit your needs.

Treat Hearing Loss With Help From The Experts At Francis Audiology

Purchasing hearing aids and other hearing devices is a big decision. So, don't just purchase hearing aids online; make sure to do it with an expert by your side! We're proud to carry a variety of hearing aid styles and brands to best fit your needs, and we're also proud to accept most major insurance plans.

If you're not sure if a hearing aid is right for you or if you have questions about the different types of hearing aids available, get in touch with us. We're excited to help you find the perfect device to improve your hearing and quality of life.

At Francis Audiology, we offer hearing tests, hearing rehabilitation, and the best hearing aids the industry has to offer. Schedule an appointment with us today so we can help find the right hearing aid for you!