When performing and enjoying our daily activities, we rely constantly on our five senses: hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch. Our sense of hearing involves an intricate process entailing the ears, nerves, and brain.
Hearing loss can make conversations and day-to-day activities more challenging for some people. Technological advancements in the field of medicine have introduced the use of hearing aids to improve the quality of life for patients with hearing loss. Let’s talk about the various types of hearing aids and how they work for different types of people.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Hearing aids are electronic devices that people with hearing loss can wear behind or in their ears. They simply magnify sounds to help people with hearing difficulties become able to hear everything from voices to music to a car horn.
In a hearing aid, there is a microphone that takes in sounds, and the sounds are converted to electrical signals. The signals are then passed to an amplifier, and the ear receives the sound through a speaker.
Hearing aids may be analog or digital. Analog hearing aids receive sounds, transform them into electronic signals, and amplify them. Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, receive sounds and convert them into numerical codes before increasing the volume. The sound is adjusted for the individual.
Hearing aids are not one-size-fits-all; they can be custom-built and designed to meet each user’s unique needs. They also have more than one program or setting. However, digital hearing aids allow audiologists the flexibility to adjust them for a specific pattern of hearing loss, similarly to how you can adjust the settings on your computer or smartphone.
Different Types of Hearing Aids
While most hearing aids carry out substantially equivalent functions, there are various types that can be suited to your personal preferences and budget.
Canal Hearing Aids
Canal hearing aids are either in-the-canal (ITC) or completely-in-canal (CIC). ITC hearing aids are created to match the size of your ear canal, and they are fairly easy to see from the outside. CIC hearing aids, on the other hand, are almost hidden in your ear canal. However, these hearing aids have limited power and volume due to their small size. They are also more difficult to adjust.
Nonetheless, these are helpful for patients with mild to moderate hearing problems. Canal hearing aids are typically not used by young children or by people with profound hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
These hearing aids have a plastic case that you wear behind the ear. This plastic case contains the electronic parts, and it is attached to an earmold that is placed in the ear. BTE hearing aids are commonly used by people with everything from mild to profound hearing loss.
In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
These hearing aids are placed just outside the ear canal. They have a hard plastic case that holds the electronic components in place. Some of these aids have a telecoil, which is a small magnetic coil with digital circuitry instead of a microphone. People with mild to severe hearing loss can use ITE hearing aids. However, young children rarely use this type because they would have to replace the plastic casing often as the ear grows.
Hearing Aids in Georgetown, Texas
Hearing loss impacts our capacity to perform many normal activities during the day. This hearing difficulty can profoundly affect your productivity and make leading an active life extra challenging. It is essential to consult an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to have a hearing test and improve your quality of life.
Our medical team at Georgetown ENT provides compassionate, patient-centered care. Our providers diagnose and treat allergies, nose and sinus issues, sleep problems, sore throat, and hearing concerns.
We also provide customized ear protection for people working or living in an environment that may cause lasting damage to hearing. This service is ideal for construction workers, musicians, swimmers, welders, and more.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation at our office in the Austin Avenue Medical Plaza, call us today at (512) 869-0604 or complete our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you enjoy the music of life once again.