Hearing Aid Product Styles

Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid.

Perhaps you've thought about getting a hearing aid, but you're worried about how it will look and wonder whether it will really help. Knowing more about the hearing aid options available to you, what to look for when buying a hearing aid and how to break it in may help alleviate some of your concerns.

All hearing aids contain the same parts to carry sound from the environment into your ear. However, hearing aids do come in a number of styles, which differ in size and the way they're placed in your ear. Some are small enough to fit inside your ear canal, making them almost invisible. Others fit partially in your ear canal. Generally, the smaller a hearing aid is, the less powerful it is, the shorter its battery life and the more it'll cost.

 

 

The following are common hearing aid styles.

Completely in the canal
Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are molded to fit inside your ear canal and can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

    Is the least noticeable in the ear
    Is less likely to pick up wind noise because the ear protects the instrument
    Is easy to use with the telephone in most cases
    Uses smaller batteries, which typically don't last as long as larger batteries
    Doesn't contain extra features, such as volume control or directional microphones

In the canal
An in-the-canal hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal, but not as deeply as the completely-in-the-canal aid. This hearing aid can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

An in-the-canal hearing aid:

    Is less visible in the ear
    Is easy to use with the telephone
    Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but the small size can make the features difficult to adjust
    May not fit well in smaller ears

Half-shell
A smaller version of the in-the-canal hearing aid, the half-shell is custom molded and fills the lower portion of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is appropriate for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

A half-shell hearing aid:

    Is bigger than an in-the-canal hearing aid
    Is a little easier to handle than are the smaller hearing aids
    Includes additional features, such as directional microphones and volume control
    Fits most ears

In the ear (full-shell)
An in-the-ear (full-shell) hearing aid is custom made and fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

An in-the-ear (full-shell) hearing aid:

    Is more visible to others
    May pick up wind noise
    Contains helpful features, such as volume control, that are easier to adjust
    Is generally easier to insert into the ear
    Uses larger batteries, which typically last longer and are easier to handle

Behind the ear
Behind-the-ear hearing aids hook over the top of your ear and rest behind the ear. The hearing aid picks up sound, amplifies it and carries the amplified sound to an ear mold that fits inside your ear canal. This type of aid is appropriate for almost all types of hearing loss and for people of all ages.

A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

    Is the largest, most visible type of hearing aid, though some new versions are smaller, streamlined and barely visible
    Is capable of more amplification than are other hearing aid styles

Open fit
These are usually very small behind-the-ear-style devices, although larger behind-the-ear devices can be modified for a more "open" fit. Sound travels from the instrument through a small tube or wire to a tiny dome or speaker in the ear canal. These aids leave the ear canal open, so they're best for mild to moderate high-frequency losses where low-frequency hearing is still normal or near normal.

An open-fit hearing aid:

    Is less visible
    Doesn't plug the ear like the small in-the-canal hearing aids do
    May use very small batteries
    Often lacks manual adjustments due to the small size
 

 
Contact Us

American Hearing Center - Temple
1618 Canyon Creek Drive Ste 140
Temple, TX 76502
254.774.7727

American Hearing Center - Killeen
2806 S WS Young Dr Ste C
Killeen, TX 76542
254.680.3444

Toll free: 1.800.234.4621
Fax: 254.771.1256

Open: M-F, 8-5

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Inspirational Wisdom


"Blindness isolates us from things, but deafness isolates us from people." ~ Helen Keller

"But people who think they can project themselves into deafness are mistaken because you can't. And I'm not talking about imagining what a deaf person's whole life is like I even mean just realizing what it is like for an instant." ~ Richard Masur