In the human ear, a sound wave is transmitted through four separate mediums along the auditory system before a sound is perceived: outer ear, middle ear, inner ear and to the brain.
A human ear conducts and processes sound as information before delivering it to the brain. Hearing loss is the result of sound signals not reaching the brain. There are two main types of hearing loss, depending on where the problem lies.
- Conductive hearing loss happens when sounds are unable to pass from your outer ear to your inner ear, often because of a blockage such as earwax or glue ear.
- Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve. This occurs naturally with age or as a result of injury.
This is where hearing aids can be of much help.
Improvements in circuits and components have made hearing aids highly effective in the recent years. Now these machines can recognize and sort out various frequencies and treat each separately as per the nature of hearing loss that the patient is dealing with. This has resulted in much higher precision in the functioning of these gadgets.
Various Types and Features
The available spectrum of hearing aids goes along the lines of nature of hearing loss, power consumption, cosmetic preference and various other options. There are many styles in hearing aids. Read on to understand their specifications.
BTEs are worn behind the ears and are generally more powerful than the customised in-ear aids. BTE conduct sounds to the canal through an ear mold. This ear mold is customised from an ear impression so that it duplicates the shape dynamics of the ear with as much precision as feasible. The major advantage of BTE aids is the placement of many features such as a directional microphone, volume control, and memory button on the body itself.
- Open-fit Style
They are same as BTEs in their positioning above the ear. They have a tube that goes into the canal of the ear. However, they are different from BTEs due to their small size and lighter with higher end technology involved in them. Their earpiece is an open-fit soft rubber piece that makes quite comfy compared to other styles.
ITEs are customized machines designed to sit in the outer region of the ear. In-the-ear hearing aids are much like the behind-the-ear aids and offer customization at hearing aid centre.
These are probably the most tricky to engineer. In-the-canal units are molded to completely fit inside the canal of the ear. Their size covers about 1/4th of the concha. In addition, ITCs require very careful handling at insertion and removals due to their size and placement position. Those that are looking for customisation and reduction of wind noise during outdoor use prefer ITCs.
- Completely-in-the-Canal aids
These are probably the most discreet units under production and available hearing aids in Hyderabad. CICs go totally into the ear canal become almost invisible. CICs require a string to be taken out of the canal due to their micro size and deep canal placement. While their small size makes it impossible for manual controls on the body, their size facilitates good wind noise cancellation, feedback cancellation, and natural sound.
One should spend some time at a hearing aid clinic and find out about the specifications that best suit the needs of one’s hearing loss and hearing aid requirement.