Hearing Aids

Today’s hearing aids are very sophisticated electronic devices that come in many different styles

As a rule, larger hearing aids can deliver more power, but this varies widely. Larger hearing aids also generally take a larger battery, which can deliver longer battery life. Smaller hearing aid styles may not be appropriate for every hearing loss or have as many features.

The mini or micro behind-the-ear style that is quite popular now is kind of an exception to the rule. It may vary greatly in size, take any of three sizes of battery or be rechargeable, and some are quite a bit more powerful than others. Although many can be used with traditional tubing, most use a thin tube between the electronics behind the ear and the ear canal. Some of these tubes are filled with air and transmit the sound acoustically (called a slim tube style). Other tubes contain a thin wire from the electronics behind the ear to another electronic part (the speaker, also called a receiver) in the ear canal. These are called receiver-in-canal or receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids. Both types are often “open fit”, meaning the ear canal is only minimally blocked by the stock or custom earpiece that fits into it. Open fit can be overused and is not appropriate for every hearing loss. The earpieces may need to be modified or custom molded to block the ear canal more to achieve maximum benefit.

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