Hearing aids are incredible pieces of technology that provide ample hearing support. These medical devices have experienced significant advancements over the years and are savvier than ever before. There is a wide range of options, types, and features that are designed to maximize hearing capacity and easily integrate the device into daily life. Hearing aids are an essential tool for people with hearing loss as they help wearers navigate environments and communicate with greater ease, comfort, and safety. With so many options, learning more about hearing aids can help you make the most informed decision when selecting a device that is optimal for you.

How Hearing Aids Work

Though there is a wide range of hearing aid options that are available today, all devices are made with the same basic components:

  • affordable hearing aids Microphone: absorbs sound from the environment and converts those soundwaves into electrical signals. Digital hearing aids use digital sound processing to convert incoming sound waves into digital signals. A computer chip then analyzes these signals and can adjust them in various ways to meet the specific needs of the wearer.
  • affordable hearing aids Amplifier: receives signals from the microphone and amplifies them. Signals are then sent to the receiver.
  • affordable hearing aids The receiver: also referred to as the speaker, delivers amplified signals to the inner ear where they continue to be processed and then sent to the brain.

The fourth component of all hearing aids is the battery source which powers the device. Hearing aids are powered by either disposable batteries or a rechargeable battery which is becoming increasingly common.

Common Types of Hearing Aids There are several types or styles of hearing aids. This describes how and where hearing aid components (microphone, amplifier, receiver) are positioned and worn. Hearing aid manufacturers use the same 3 to 4 letter acronyms to describe the specific type of hearing aid.

Common types include the following:

behind the ear hearing device
BTE hearing aids are likely what you imagine when you think of hearing aids. Electronic components are in a hard plastic case that is worn behind the ear. A small wire connects this case to an earmold that sits inside the outer ear. The microphone is built into the earmold which absorbs sound and sends it to the amplifier (behind the ear). The amplifier then sends it to the speaker which is back in the earmold. BTE hearing aids are best suited for people with mild to profound hearing loss.
behind the ear hearing device
This type of hearing aid is a smaller version of the standard BTE type. Part of the device still sits behind the ear while a thin tube connects it to an earpiece that is worn in the ear canal rather than the outer ear.
inner ear hearing aid
ITE hearing aids are worn inside the outer ear without any components that sit behind the ear. All hearing aid components are in a small case that is fitted to the outer portion of the ear (based on molding taken off the ear). ITE types work best for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
Inner hearing aid
IIC types are made using a custom mold of the wearer’s ear to ensure a perfect fit. This hearing aid is designed to be worn deeply in the ear canal and is the smallest type of device that is available.

hearing aid technology

There are various innovative features that today's hearing aids offer. Learning about these features and identifying what you are interested in is a helpful way to navigate your hearing aid options. A few of these features include:

  • hearing aids Wireless connectivity: using Bluetooth technology, this feature allows the hearing aid to wirelessly connect with other electronic devices and stream audio directly which delivers enhanced sound quality.
  • hearing aids Digital noise reduction: this feature identifies and minimizes background noise, making it easier to hear and focus on speech.
  • hearing aids Voice recognition: identifying and separating voices from others' sounds, allows the wearer to hear their voice more naturally.

Another feature of today's hearing aids is the rechargeable battery. Rechargeable hearing aids have built-in batteries that are charged using a charging unit (similar to how you charge your phone). This prevents you from having to swap out and buy disposable batteries. Contact us to learn more about what today’s hearing aids offer!