How to Choose The Right Hearing Aid For Your Type of Hearing Loss - Attune
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How to Choose The Right Hearing Aid For Your Type of Hearing Loss

wearing hearing aids

Hearing aids are designed to improve your hearing – a sense that enables you to connect with the world around you. Your hearing allows you to communicate with your loved ones, participate in community activities and everyday life. 

While pricing is certainly a factor to consider, we encourage you to remind yourself that you’re not just buying any product; you’re making an important investment in your social life and overall well being. 

You’re also entering a service relationship with your audiologist and hearing aid provider – one that will hopefully last many years. This is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly! 

But how should you go about finding the perfect hearing aid for your hearing loss? We’ve taken the time to map out your three-step journey to better hearing health!

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Find an independent and accredited hearing care provider near you that offers the full range of medical services. Undergo a comprehensive hearing test and if diagnosed with a hearing loss, proceed to step three. Choose the appropriate hearing device for your hearing needs and preferences, followed by a hearing aid trial.

Finding an Accredited Hearing Service Provider 

There are now many online providers offering hearing devices at inappropriately low prices at the cost of you missing out on hearing aid fittings and ongoing professional support. 

Much like buying off-the-shelf reading glasses at the corner store, the experience cannot compare to the services you would receive in person from a trusted audiologist.  

You should also make sure to choose an accredited Australian hearing care provider that can prove their independence from hearing aid manufacturers. Attune Hearing, for example, was built on a medical foundation to ensure you’re receiving the best of care at a reasonable price. 

Undergoing a Comprehensive Hearing Test 

hearing test

As your hearing services provider, your audiologist is trained to undertake your audiogram and explain the hearing assessment results. Suppose a hearing loss is diagnosed, and hearing aids are the recommended treatment path; they can also support you in finding the perfect hearing aid. 

Whatever the result of your hearing test, with the support of a team of ENT specialists and GPs, we can provide you with a service for life without sacrificing your outcome for the sake of selling hearing aids.

Choosing From Different Hearing Aid Styles

Your audiologist will take you through the benefits and limitations of different types and brands of hearing aids that may be suitable for your particular type of hearing loss and personal preferences. 

As accredited and independent hearing service providers, your Attune audiologist will arrange a free seven day trial of a hearing aid of your choice, allowing you to explore if you like the performance and feel of the hearing aid.

The following is an overview of the most common types of hearing aids, with relevant benefits and disadvantages of each. 

  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are highly sought after devices, for they are the most discreet type of hearing aid. 

They are worn entirely in the ear canal and therefore often referred to as “invisible hearing aids”.

Pros

Cons

  • CIC hearing aids are custom fit to your individual ear anatomy to achieve greater comfort 
  • With a bit of practice, CIC hearing aids are easy to remove and insert
  • CIC is generally less susceptible to feedback or noise interference
  • CIC hearing aids come in a range of colours to match your skin tone and be even less noticeable 
  • Sitting right in the ear canal, CIC hearing aids can cause a feeling that the ear is plugged up
  • Being small in size, CIC hearing aids can be challenging to handle and adjust for those with challenged dexterity or eyesight 
  • CIC hearing aids may not be suitable for severe hearing loss as they are generally less powerful due to their size
  • Smaller batteries resort in shorter overall battery lives

Suitable for:

  • Mild to moderate hearing loss

Hearing Aid Models (Examples): 

  • Signia Insio CIC 3Nx Hearing Aid
  • Resound LiNX Quattro CIC Tech 7 Hearing Aid 
  • Phonak Virto Marvel 10 NW M70 Hearing Aid

ReSound

Source: ReSound

  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids, like CICs, are very discreet and nearly invisible to the eye. 

Since they are a little bigger than devices that sit completely in the ear canal, they can fit bigger batteries and more features, such as manual controls and directional microphones. 

Pros

Cons

  • ITCs are never a one-size-fits-all but have to be custom-fit to your ear anatomy
  • Since they sit primarily in the ear, they’re much less visible than larger hearing aid styles
  • ITC hearing aids may include manual control that won’t fit on smaller CIC hearing aids
  • ITC can serve wearers with mild-to-severe hearing loss
  • Since they’re still quite small in size, challenges are similar to that of CIC hearing aids
  • The size can be a challenge to wearers with dexterity and/or eyesight issues
  • Whilst batteries can be bigger than those of CICs; they may still require more frequent charging or changing than larger styles 

Suitable for:

  • Mild to severe hearing loss

Hearing Aid Models (Examples): 

  • Resound LiNX Quattro ITC Tech 9 Hearing Aid
  • Signia Insio Bluetooth ITC 5Nx Hearing Aid
  • Phonak Virto Black Marvel 312 M90 Hearing Aid
  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fill the outer portion of your ear and are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss. 

There are two styles- one that fills your outer ear (full-shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). 

Pros

Cons

  • Larger batteries allow for a significantly longer battery life
  • There is a wide range of rechargeable ITE hearing aids available on the market 
  • ITEs can include controls for volume and memory that won’t fit smaller custom hearing aids
  • Larger in size than other customisable hearing aids, they’re easier to insert and remove when needed
  • ITEs are often available with directional microphones and more powerful speakers 
  • Due to their positioning outside the ear canal, ITEs may pick up more wind noise than smaller custom devices that sit in the canal
  • ITE hearing aid can get clogged with earwax and moisture, which makes maintenance and cleaning essential to keeping the devices in good health

Suitable for:

  • Moderate to severe hearing loss

Hearing Aid Models (Examples): 

  • Resound Linx QUATTRO ITE DW 5 Hearing Aid 
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

With all electronic components sitting just behind or on top of the outer ear, BTEs are the most common hearing aid style. A short tube sends sound down into the ear canal via a custom-fit earmold. 

Since they’re not limited in size by your ear anatomy, BTE hearing aids are a great solution if you have severe hearing loss. 

Pros

Cons

  • BTE’s practical size makes them easy to handle and adjust
  • Their bigger size allows for more features making them a versatile hearing aid suitable for most types of hearing loss
  • They can fit larger batteries and therefore impress with a long battery life 
  • BTEs are available in different colours to perfectly match hair or skin tone
  • BTEs are often among the more affordable hearing aid options
  • Sitting outside the ear, BTEs are the most visible and least discreet type of hearing aid 
  • External noise (e.g. wind) can be an issue in open spaces – unless the hearing aids are equipped with wind reduction features 

Suitable for:

  • Any degree of hearing loss 

Hearing Aid Models (Examples): 

  • Unitron Tempus Max SP BTE Hearing Aid
  • Phonak Vitus UP BTE Hearing Aid
  • Signia Motion 13P 5Nx Bluetooth Hearing Aid
  • Receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids

Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) are slightly smaller than behind-the-ear (BTE) models. 

Whilst RIC and RITE hearing aids sit behind the ear, the dome-covered receiver sits in the ear canal, which is why both types of hearing aids are part of the ‘in ear’ hearing aids category

Pros

Cons

  • The small size of RIC and RITE hearing aids makes them more lightweight and comfortable to wear when compared to BTEs 
  • Both the case that fits behind the ear and the receiver in the ear are slightly more discreet  
  • RIC and RITE hearing aids are less likely to result in feedback
  • Occlusion, the feeling of plugged ears, is generally less of a problem for RIC and RITE wearers 
  • The receiver end is vulnerable to ear wax and moisture in the ear canal
  • With two parts, RICs and RITEs can be slightly challenging to handle and maintain, particularly for wearers with eyesight or dexterity issues

Suitable for:

  • Any degree of hearing loss 

Hearing Aid Models (Examples): 

  • Phonak Paradise Rechargeable Telecoil P-RT P90 Hearing Aid
  • Unitron Moxi B-RT Blu 9 Rechargeable T-coil Hearing Aid

If you are looking for the perfect hearing aid to match your type of hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Attune Hearing and begin your journey to better earring health today! 

Enquire now