Hearing & Balance Doctors
Prescription Hearing Aid Technology
Game-Changing Prescription Hearing Aid Technology to Meet Your Needs
Although hearing technology is only one of the many options toward achieving better hearing, it often prevents people from taking their first step toward better hearing.
Unfortunately, when the subject of prescription hearing aids comes up, most of us remember those large, clunky devices our parents or grandparents used to wear.
However, the good news is that today’s technology is small, discreet, and more powerful than devices from even a decade ago. In fact, many of our patients tell us that their friends, colleagues, and loved ones have never even noticed that they are wearing a device.
In addition to more discrete wearing, modern hearing technology includes greatly improved and natural-sounding clarity, rechargeable batteries, and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music, phone calls, and your television directly to your hearing aids as well as giving you the capacity to adjust and fine-tune your hearing experience from your smartphone.
In short, today’s prescription hearing aid technology doesn’t just amplify your hearing, but it also amplifies your life.
The Different Styles Of Prescription Hearing Aids
Similar in design to analog hearing aids, but with digital technology, BTE model hearing aids are the largest, most reliable, and powerful style available. They are much smaller and lighter than older BTE styles hearing aids, delivering better performance by using a higher number of circuitry options among hearing instruments. The technology rests behind your ear, transmitting amplified sound to the earmold inside the ear canal by using plastic tubing. Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss are best served by this hearing aid style.
Open Fit (Mini BTE)
The Mini-BTE also houses its technology in a casing that rests behind your ear, but the casing is much smaller and more difficult to see from the front or side, even for those with short hair. Rather than the traditional earmold, the mini uses an open earbud inserted deep into your ear canal, providing greater wearing discretion as well as a more natural sound. Earpieces can be custom molded or come in a “few sizes fits most” dome arrangement. Individuals with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss qualify for Mini BTE instruments.
A modification of BTE style hearing aids, RITE hearing aids remove the receiver (or speaker) from the behind-the-ear casing and fit it into the ear canal. The two units connect using a very thin wire protected by clear plastic tubing. This arrangement helps enhance natural sound quality and clarity. Earpieces come standard or custom formed. Individuals with all levels of hearing loss can take advantage of this hearing aid style.
ITE instruments eliminate the behind the ear casing and place the unit’s technology inside a hard plastic shell in the outer ear canal. This style of hearing aid is preferred by those with glasses or who use an oxygen cannula to avoid interference and discomfort caused by a behind the ear casing. The casing is molded to fit the unique shape of your outer ear canal and they can be made in a variety of sizes with skin tone matching options for improved discretion. Individuals with a mild to moderate hearing loss are eligible for this hearing aid style.
ITC hearing aids are slightly smaller than ITE devices. This style fits further into the ear canal, exposing less of the casing for added wearing discretion. These custom-fit units have very little surface space for volume control and other control wheels, which means adjustment and fine-tuning by the user requires fine dexterity. This style can be used by individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss as well.
CIC devices are custom molded to fit a little bit deeper into the ear canal, requiring a tiny clear plastic post for placement and removal. Because of their size and their means of insertion, these units require extreme dexterity and do not include any manual controls. Digital adjustment and fine-tuning of these instruments requires users to be somewhat tech-savvy. Although they are quite simple to use, they are only appropriate for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The ultimate solution to greater wearing discretion, IIC hearing aids are 100% invisible, digital, and fully programmable. Designed for a snug fit near the second bend of the ear canal, manual controls are impossible, and insertion dexterity is essential to use this style of instrument. Only individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss qualify for this hearing aid style.
Lyric®: Invisible Hearing Device
Similar to extended wear contact lenses, IIC instruments are designed to be worn continuously 24/7 for up to 120 days. They are simple, maintenance-free devices designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who are constantly on the go. Their simplicity and convenience are their primary advantages, allowing users to leave them in as they go about exercising, showering, talking on the phone, sleeping, and other daily activities. Placed approximately 5mm from your eardrum by your ENT or audiologist, Lyric devices are replaced every 3 to 4 months during a routine office visit and use a specialized magnetic tool to switch them on and off as well as make other volume and fine-tuning adjustments.
Schedule A Hearing Assessment
The first vital step toward regaining the independent and rewarding lifestyle you are missing due to hearing loss is a comprehensive hearing assessment.
If you or a loved one are not hearing as well as you used to, it is time to schedule a hearing assessment to learn why you’re struggling and what can be done.