Hearing aids can help improve the lives of adults and children who suffer from varying degrees of hearing loss. By reducing some background noises and prioritizing speech sounds, hearing aids emphasize certain sounds that would otherwise be too faint for you to hear.
When you visit our office for a hearing evaluation, Dr. Venkatesh or Dr. McGrath will discuss with you the different brands and styles of hearing aids available and help you decide which one will best address your case of hearing loss. Once you have selected a hearing aid, you can count on us for on-site maintenance, repairs, cleanings, and adjustments.
Although hearing aids can differ in size and style, they all share some common attributes that allow their wearers to hear and distinguish the sounds around them more clearly. Hearing aids are comprised of three main parts: a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. The microphone “catches” sounds from the environment and converts them into electrical signals that are then sent to the amplifier. The amplifier next increases the volume of the signals, which are at last sent by the speaker to the ear.
Hearing aids are available in a range of styles from a variety of reputable manufacturers. During your appointment with Dr. Venkatesh or Dr. McGrath, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of hearing aid.
Invisible in-the-canal (IIC) – This custom hearing aid style is a micro device that fits deep into the ear canal completely hidden from view.
Completely in-the-canal (CIC) – Some hearing aids are molded to fit completely inside your ear. A CIC hearing aid is almost entirely hidden in the ear canal and is a very discreet option.
In-the-canal (ITC) – This type of hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of your ear canal. Because these aids are smaller, they are generally intended for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss. Many patients prefer this type of hearing aid because it is less visible. In addition, its small size can help protect the device from wind noise.
In-the-ear (ITE) – This type of hearing aid fits snugly inside the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear and can be used to fit mild to severe hearing loss. Although ITE hearing aids are more visible, they are generally easier to insert and adjust and have a longer battery life than other, smaller hearing aids.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This type of hearing aid consists of a component that is worn behind the ear and connects to an ear mold that rests inside the outer ear. Sound is conducted from the hearing aid into the ear mold. Although this is the largest and most visible type of hearing aid, it is also the most powerful and often the easiest to adjust. BTE hearing aids are appropriate for the treatment of almost all types of hearing loss.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC)/Open Fit – A new and smaller type of BTE hearing aid. The device fits snugly behind the ear and includes a thin wire that connects to a small piece that is inserted into the ear canal. Less visible than a traditional BTE hearing aid, the open fit device leaves the ear canal more open, making it ideal for those with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.
Lyric® – Lyric is the world’s first and only extended wear hearing aid that is worn 24/7 for months at a time* through activities such as showering, exercising and sleeping. Lyric is placed deep in the ear canal, 4mm from the ear drum and is therefore invisible.
After evaluating your type and degree of hearing loss, Dr. Venkatesh or Dr. McGrath will help you choose an appropriate style of hearing aid, take an impression (if needed) of your ear canal, and adjust the device to fit well. It may take you some time to get used to your new hearing aid, but Dr. Venkatesh and Dr. McGrath are always available to answer your questions, schedule and appointment today!