Which style of hearing aid is best for me?

Hearing aid purchasers should consider the following facts before selecting a hearing aid.

  • The least visible hearing aids are the BTE, RITE and CIC styles.
  • The smaller the hearing aid, the more difficult it is to handle and the more easily it can get dropped or lost.
  • The sturdiest hearing aids tend to be the BTE and RITE styles. 
  • The BTE style is the most resistant to damage from cerumen (ear wax) or moisture from a draining ear.
  • The smaller the hearing aid, the smaller the battery.  Small batteries do not last as long and must therefore be changed more often.  Small batteries can be difficult to handle if you have poor eyesight, arthritis, hand tremors or a poor sense of touch.  Large batteries may last two weeks or more, while smaller batteries may last as little as two to four days.  You may want to ask your audiologist about rechargeable batteries if you have difficulty manipulating small objects or seeing small things.
  • Hearing instruments that fill up the ear canal tightly can sometimes produce a stuffy sound quality, while aids with larger vents may sound more natural.  Your audiologist will need to assist you with deciding how much venting is necessary to provide the correct amount of amplification and best sound quality.
  • Some ears require special consideration and treatment due to their size and shape, draining, or other medical problems which can dictate the aid’s style.
  • The worse the hearing loss, the larger a hearing aid often needs to be.  But powerful hearing aids are available now in very small, comfortable hearing instruments.
  • The more variable and challenging your listening needs, the more automatic features are needed in the circuitry.  A variety of hearing instrument accessories may be considered to help meet your special listening needs.  These options and accessories must be considered before selecting a specific hearing instrument model. 
  • The faster your hearing loss is progressing, the more flexible your hearing aid needs to be, so it can be made to give more powerful amplification over time.  This will help you avoid the need to purchase new aids any soon than necessary.
  • The worse a person's vision, tactile, and cognitive challenges are, the simpler a hearing aid’s operation needs to be.  Automatic, self-adjusting hearing aid circuits make hearing instruments work more easily and quickly, while the also sound more natural.