There are several different types of hearing aids to choose from. The type of hearing aid that you need depends on the amount of hearing loss that you have. Some hearing aids are more appropriate for adults than children. Traditional hearing aids are removable. Newer models can be surgically implanted in the ear. Hearing aids differ greatly in size, style, and cost. Your doctor will help you select the most appropriate one for you. Removable hearing aids are categorized as:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a component that is worn behind the ear and a earmold that fits inside of the outer ear. The hearing aid is made of hard plastic. BTE hearing aids are most appropriate for people with mild to profound hearing loss. Newer open-fit BTE hearing aids have a small component that is worn behind the ear and a tube that is inserted into the ear canal. An open-fit BTE is helpful for people that experience earwax buildup.
In-the-ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are placed inside the outer ear. They may include a telecoil that helps with hearing telephone conversations. ITE hearing aids are most appropriate for adults with mild to severe hearing loss.
Canal Hearing Aids
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are custom made to fit inside the ear canal. Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are inside the ear canal and virtually hidden. Canal hearing aids are most appropriate for adults with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Surgically Implanted Hearing Aids include:
Middle Ear Implant (MEI)
A middle ear implant (MEI) is a device that is surgically attached to the bones in the middle ear. The MEI causes the bones to move and send greater vibrations to the inner ear structures.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)
The bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is surgically attached to the bone behind the ear. The BAHA transmits amplified vibrations to the inner ear structures.