Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center
Hearing Aids in Naples & Estero, FL
At Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center, we want to help you find the best hearing aid type for your needs. Many of our customers don’t realize that there are so many types of hearing aids. The hearing aid type you choose may depend on a variety of factors, including your insurance, budget, percentage of hearing loss, comfort and design, and what feels best for you. Our friendly, knowledgeable hearing aid specialists can give you a diagnosis, determine what type of hearing loss you have, determine the extent of your hearing loss, and recommend the best hearing aids for you. If you’re suffering from hearing loss and you’re not sure where to begin, give us a call or contact us online, and one of our professional hearing loss specialists can help.
What Are Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are specialized medical devices designed to improve or treat hearing loss. There are a wide variety of different hearing aid types that can help you hear better and make your life easier. In order to determine what type of hearing aid is best for you, you must visit a specialist who can diagnose the extent of your hearing loss. Hearing aids can be worn behind the ear, in the ear canal, or can be surgically implanted using cochlear implant surgery. No matter what hearing aid type you choose, all hearing aids use the same basic parts: the device itself, a small hearing aid battery, a microphone, a speaker, an amplifier, and a programming button.
Hearing Aid Types in Naples & Estero, FL
Hearing aids come in a variety of types and styles, and choosing the right one for you might depend on what is most comfortable, or which device can best correct your hearing loss. If you are unsure about the best hearing aid for your needs, your hearing specialist or physician can help you choose. Here are the most commonly used hearing aid types:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE) – The behind-the-ear hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind it. A tube goes from the hearing aid to a custom ear piece called an ear mold. This ear mold fits in your ear canal. BTE hearing aids are the most universal hearing aid type. They are appropriate for all levels of hearing loss, and work for people of all ages. Some newer designs are smaller and less noticeable. BTE hearing aids have directional microphones and offer greater amplification. Some are available with a rechargeable battery.
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) – An RIC hearing aid is similar to a BTE hearing aid. A speaker or receiver sits in the ear canal, and a tiny wire connects it to the earpiece behind the ear. This type of hearing aid has directional microphones and manual control options, and may be available with a rechargeable battery.
- In-the-Ear (ITE) – An ITE hearing aid is custom-made in one of two different hearing aid styles: one fills most of the bowl-shaped outer ear and is called a full shell. The other type of hearing aid fills only the lower part of the outer ear (half shell). Both of these styles are useful for mild to severe hearing loss. They are also available with directional microphones for improved hearing in noisy environments. ITE hearing aids include features that don’t fit on smaller hearing aids, like volume control. They are easier to handle, but are also more visible in the ear.
- In-the-Canal (ITC) – These hearing aids are custom-molded to fit partially inside your ear canal. They can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. The benefits of an ITC hearing aid are that they are less visible, and include many helpful programming features.
- Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) – This type of hearing aid is custom-molded to nestle inside your ear canal. It is used to improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. The benefits of a CIC are that they are the smallest and least visible hearing aid type, and they are less likely to pick up wind noise or ambient noise.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Most hearing aids are now digital, and are powered with a small hearing aid battery or rechargeable battery. A small microphone collects sounds from the environment and a computer chip in the hearing aid contains an amplifier that converts incoming sound to digital code. This chip also analyzes the sound depending on the severity of your hearing loss, and adjusts the amplification based on your specific needs and the ambient sound around you. These amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and sent to your ears using speakers or receivers. All hearing aids function in the same way. The primary differences between hearing aid types are their size, how well they function in noisy environments, what type of battery they use, and how well they correct different levels of hearing loss.
Choosing the Right Type of Hearing Aid
When you visit a hearing loss specialist to discuss the best hearing aid for your needs, he or she will evaluate your hearing to determine your level of hearing loss. That information will help you choose between the different types of hearing aids. When choosing the right type of hearing aid for your needs, you should consider:
- The best hearing aid types for your level of hearing loss
- Your budget, or if the cost is covered by your insurance
- The style that is most comfortable for you
- The features that are most important to you
- How quickly you can adapt to wearing it
- How often you will be wearing it
Contact Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, our hearing loss specialists at Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center can help. Our specialists can help you choose the best hearing aid for your level of hearing loss and comfort. We can help you navigate the complexities of choosing between different hearing aid types, determining if your insurance or Medicaid will cover the cost, and finding a device that feels comfortable to wear all day and improves your hearing as much as possible. To learn more about the different types of hearing aids, call us today or contact us online.