With each decade that passes, technology seems to play a bigger and bigger role in our all components of our daily functioning. Whether it be mobile ordering, computer-assisted driving, or the thousands of smartphone apps aimed to streamline our day, technology has found its place in every facet of our lives.
Technological advancements have been especially helpful in the realm of assistive hearing devices. While in some areas, technology seems to make things more cumbersome, in the sector of hearing aids, technology has made hearing improvement that much easier to achieve.
Now we have many more options in hearing aids compared to decades ago thanks to an ever-evolving wheel of technological advancement. Hearing aids are available in a range of sizes and placement options, and in digital configurations that adjust automatically to more traditional analog designs for the most basic of needs. No matter which hearing aid you select, they’re all pretty user-friendly nowadays thanks to constantly evolving technology.
Types of Hearing Aid Configuration Using Programmable Technology
These hearing aids process soundwaves digitally, converting them into digital signals. An internal computer chip acts as a little computer that weeds out important sounds such as detecting speech from noise. The chip automatically adjusts the incoming sound to provide a nice, clearly audible signal.
These types of hearing aids have different settings that you and your hearing care professional can configure depending on your wants and needs. You may have the ability to just switch between programs with the touch of a button on a smartphone or remote device.
Analog programmable hearing aids also have a microchip in them, which allows your hearing professional to program different settings based on your needs. They are less expensive than digital programmable aids, but similar in function.
Hearing Aid Styles
Technology has allowed us to enjoy smaller and smaller hearing aids these days. Some are so small, their presence is completely undetectable — as they are inserted completely into the ear canal.
BTE (Behind The Ear)
This traditional behind the ear hearing aid is the most basic, traditional hearing aid offering a low-cost hearing solution. It comes with either a hook, an ear mold, or in miniature configuration.
LP (Low Profile)
Low profile hearing aids sit right at the opening of the ear canal, which makes them less noticeable, but still large enough to have some programmability and other features such as a directional microphone.
ITC (In The Canal)
These hearing aids take up a smaller portion of the outer ear, and have many of the same features as a low profile hearing aid. They can become susceptible to water damage due to their small size, so extra care is needed with these hearing aids.
IIC or CIC (Invisible In The Canal or Completely In The Canal)
These are the least controllable manually, but the most discrete cosmetically. They sit directly in the ear canal, which takes advantage of the ear’s natural ability to localize and filter sound.
When considering which hearing aid is right for you, and how much you want to be involved in the technological aspects of hearing aids, just remember there are plenty of options to choose from. Don’t be afraid to talk to your hearing professional about your exact wants and needs.