Human beings are, perhaps, the blessed of all creatures. Among the many blessings of nature that have been bestowed upon us, there exists our sense of hearing. However, life was not meant to be perfect and so along with blessings, time and again we are inflicted with trials and tribulations. One of the greatest trials inflicted upon some individuals is that of hearing loss. Often people are born with no sensations to be felt in their eardrum, which is a tragedy indeed. However, science and technology have progressed so much that now there is more than one solution to this dire problem. One of the solutions is the invention and use of hearing aids.
What are hearing aids?
A hearing aid is a small device most often fixed inside an individual’s ear. It has been designed for the purpose of helping people with hearing loss. They do not completely restore a person’s hearing but allow sounds to become more accessible to such people.
Types of hearing aids
Hearing aids have been designed to be of many types. They vary in power, size, and circuitry. Following are some of the types:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids
These are easy to clean and handle. Also, they have a comparatively powerful built. Mostly used for growing children, these hearing aids are basically small plastic cases that fit easily behind ears. Most of the technical components, therefore, lie outside of the ear in that plastic case which is then connected to an earpiece that fits securely inside the ear via a clear tube.
They are also known as on-the-ear aids. They are thin in their structure and the difference between them and the normal behind-the-ear aids is that they are connected through the tube directly to the ear canal instead of having an earpiece. This way, they aid in reducing occlusion and are more comfortable. Moreover, since they aren’t protruding and visible, they work well with individuals who have cosmetic concerns.
In-the-ear (ITE) aids
These hearing aids are basically made up of a shell which contains all the technical components. The shell is then fixed in the outer area of the ear. There are no tube attachments. These aids are bigger than the in-the-canal and completely-in-the-canal aids.
In-the-canal (ITC) aids and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids
These hearing aids are tiny cases which contain all the components and are placed partially or wholly into the ear canal. They are found to be the smallest of all hearing aids ever to have been made. It is their small size and practical invisibility that provides a cosmetic advantage. Moreover, the fact that they are located at the ear canal itself results in better aural faculty.
All these different types of hearing aids have been invented so as to cater to varying levels of hearing loss in people. Therefore, before purchasing any type of aid, it is important that research is undertaken on which kind of hearing aid would be suitable for the person intended to use it.