What to Know When It’s Time to Buy a Hearing Aid

Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss, which means millions of Americans will also use hearing aids at some point in their lives. If your audiologist has prescribed the use of one of these devices, it is important to know the differences in the various options you have when you go to buy a hearing aid in Long Island, NY.

Here’s a quick guide to the most common types of hearing aids and what you should know about them:

  • Traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE): BTE hearing aids feature electronic components encased in plastic, which get tucked behind the ear. Sound gets transmitted to the ear through a tubing that connects the case to the in-ear receiver and an earmold fitted to your ear canal. This type of hearing aid is highly flexible and provides excellent amplification, making it ideal for people with more severe forms of hearing loss, and it is easily cleaned. However, some custom molds will be visible, and they can be vulnerable to buildups of sweat and wax and thus require frequent cleaning.
  • Mini behind-the-ear hearing aids (mBTE): These hearing aids have many of the same benefits as traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids, but are much less likely to be visible and can prevent a plugged-up feeling you might otherwise experience in the ears. However, buildups of wax and moisture can limit the receiver’s lifespan, and the amplification isn’t quite as significant as a standard BTE hearing aid.
  • Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids (CIC): CIC hearing aids are deep inside the canal and fit snugly. They provide minimal feedback when you’re using a phone. They’re low visibility and are removable with a special string. However, they are too small to use directional microphones, and if the hearing aid isn’t properly vented, you might feel plugged up. Like other in-ear hearing aids, they’re a bit more vulnerable to moisture and wax.
  • In-the-canal hearing aids (ITC): This type of hearing aid is barely visible at all, and offers much less of a plugged-up feeling than you’d get from some other varieties because of how deep it’s located in the canal. Some larger units might feature directional microphones. However, many people report discomfort with these hearing aids, and they are more susceptible to moisture and earwax. Battery life is shorter due to the smaller size.
  • Traditional in-the-ear hearing aid (ITE): In this hearing aid, all electronic components are kept inside the case, which sits in the bowl of the outer ear. This offers more room for directional microphones, telecoil and wireless streaming, and provides less of a plugged-up sensation. The drawbacks are greater visibility and a telecoil that isn’t quite as powerful as those in BTE hearing aids because of the smaller size.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to every one of these types of hearing aids. For more information about buying a hearing aid in Long Island, NY, or to schedule an appointment at McGuire’s Hearing Centers, we encourage you to contact our audiologists today.