Hearing aids were once called ear trumpets because they amplified sound energy through a device designed to look like a cone. Today, there are several hearing aid types and are considered medical devices. This means they have to pass certain FDA standards in order to be sold as hearing aids.
There are over 10 different hearing aid types and can be categorized as in-ear, behind the ear, implants, programmable, or dual-purpose. There are also disposable types, open fit, and stetho hearing devices. However, the more common ones are listed below and popular because of affordability, ease of use, and availability.
In The Canal (ITC) or Completely In The Canal (CIC)
These medical devices have a small casing and can fit into the canal partially or completely. The choice would really boil down to comfort. Some people don’t like the idea of something all the way into the ear canal while others prefer the security of knowing that if it is a CIC, the chances of falling out is minimized. Of course, this is mostly a concern that has very little basis since both ITC and CIC are very unlikely to fall.
These 2 medical devices are also some of the smallest in the market and can be bought in different colors for the base as well as easy adjustments for audio levels.
In The Ear (ITE)
ITE is one of the hearing aid types that also comes fitted in a shell and is placed on the outer part of the ear canal. Thus it is inside the ear but not inside the ear canal. It is also bigger than the ITC and CIC.
Behind The Ear (BTE)
This device can look very similar to the gadgets used for mobile phones. It wraps around the back of the ear and has one clear tubing each that connects to the ear mold. This hearing aid type is most recommended for young children to teenagers because not only is it safer for them to use, it can also adjust to the ear size as the child grows bigger.
BTE Open Fitting
This hearing type is different from the BTE in that it is more cosmetic or easy on the eye. It can be masked as something other than a hearing device and is often preferred by adults who outgrow the BTE.
The implants are placed between strategically in the small space behind the eardrum and are one of the later hearing aid types in the market. These are used by people with severe hearing problems where the garden variety types won’t work well enough. The latest of the implant hearing aid types is so tiny; it does not require surgery and can be used by the elderly.
Basically, it picks up the electrical signals and turns it into vibrations. It comes with a microphone and a relay that send the audio to a wireless optical link. This German invention will start its testing stage in 2014 and the company is confident it will work because it uses the same technology of existing implants but has made it smaller.