If you are experiencing hearing loss, hearing aids can make social interactions much easier and keep you safer by making you more aware of your surroundings. However, you may not be sure which type of hearing aid is right for you if you are buying them for the first time. Here is a comparison of three of the most common types of hearing aids.
In-the-canal hearing aids are often one of the most comfortable types. These hearing aids are virtually invisible because they are placed inside the ear canal and colored to match the wearer's skin tone. Additionally, many people find in-the-canal hearing aids very comfortable because they are custom-molded to fit perfectly inside the ear.
While in-the-canal hearing aids have several benefits, they are not without problems. Occasionally, ear wax can plug the speakers of these hearing aids and reduce their effectiveness until they are cleaned. In-the-canal hearing aids are also smaller than other types, which means that their batteries are smaller as well and they may not be as well suited for all day use.
In-the-ear hearing aids are fitted partially inside the ear canal and partially in the inner lobe or "bowl" of the ear. Because these hearing aids are larger, they have more room for a larger battery and may also be easier to handle for people with dexterity problems in their hands. Some in-the-ear hearing aids feature a volume control wheel on the outside that is easily accessible by placing a hand to your ear.
In-the-ear hearing aids are more easily seen than in-the-canal hearing aids, so this is a factor you should consider if you don't want your hearing aids to be seen. Additionally, you will always be able to feel in-the-ear hearing aids on your ear, while in-the-canal hearing aids are small and comfortable enough that you will often forget you are wearing them.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids consist of a clip that rests behind the ear and a tube that connects to a mold inside of the ear canal. Depending on the type that you buy, they may be easily visible, or they may be mostly hidden behind and inside of the ear.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids have very high amplification capabilities, making them an excellent option for people with advanced hearing loss. However, this extra amplification sometimes comes with the cost of higher interference such as wind noise.
Keep the differences between hearing aid styles in mind so you can find the type that is best suited to your needs.