At Colorado West Audiologists, we offer a full line of brand-name hearing aids with different levels of technology in various styles. Understanding the differences among types, styles and special features in hearing aids can help you make the most informed decision about which is right for you.
Hearing aid technology: Basic and advanced
Based on technology, digital hearing aids can be separated into two types: basic and advanced. Basic digital hearing aids require some manual adjustments depending on your listening environment. For example, you might need to adjust the volume control or switch between the pre-set listening programs on your hearing aids as you move from a noisy room to an outdoor setting. They also have a limited range of channels, programs and settings.
As the level of technology in hearing aids has continued to increase, so has the availability of advanced features. Advanced hearing aids automatically adjust volume or programs as they detect changes in your environment, offering hands-free listening comfort. Advanced hearing aids also split sound frequencies into more channels for better sound resolution and offer specialized programs such as Bluetooth compatibility or wind reduction.
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Styles of Hearing Aids
Today’s hearing aids are much more compact, attractive, and innovative than ever before, offering many different style choices to meet each person’s hearing needs and lifestyle. At Colorado West Audiologists, we offer the following hearing aid styles:
Various hearing aid styles we offer:
- Invisible in-the-Canal (IIC)
- Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)
- In-the-Canal (ITC)
- Full Shell or In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Mini BTE with slim tube and tip
- Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE)
- BTE with earmolds
In order of visibility, the smallest hearing aids range from ITE devices, which sit in the outer portion of the ear canal, to IIC devices, which are nearly invisible to the naked eye. These styles offer greater cosmetic appeal and are best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss.
With BTE styles, the hearing aid sits behind or at the top of the outer ear, with tubes or wires that connect to a custom, closed-fit earmold or open-fit receiver tip in the ear canal. These hearing aids are more visible, but easier to handle and are best suited for individuals with any type of hearing loss and dexterity issues.
Hearing Aid Accessories
Hearing aids alone will improve your ability to communicate, but they can be further customized with accessories designed to meet the needs of specific listening environments and lifestyle preferences. The following is a list of the most popular hearing aid accessories available.
- Adaptors and wireless accessories: Adaptors allow you to connect your hearing aids directly to various personal listening devices, while wireless accessories utilize Bluetooth technology to stream music and other media through a television headset, MP3 player or smartphone without the annoyance of being plugged into a device.
- Personal amplifiers and assistive listening devices (ALDs): These accessories help hearing aid wearers overcome the listening challenges of poor acoustics, distance and background noise in classroom settings or while attending public events. Using amplifiers and receivers, ALDs connect to FM or induction loop systems to deliver clear speech directly to your hearing aids.
- Cleaning kits and earwax filters: Cleaning your hearing aid should be part of your daily routine, and cleaning kits have all the tools you need. Earwax filters go the extra step of protecting your hearing aids from the damage of ear wax and keeping your listening experience as clear as possible.
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