How to Pick the Right Hearing Aid
If you have difficulty hearing, then your doctor might recommend that you get a hearing aid. However, there are quite a few different types of hearing aids out there, which can make it hard to make a choice. To help you out, here is a description of each type of popular hearing aid devices.
Behind the Ear
This is the most visible type of hearing aid because it is actually located entirely outside of the ear. As the name would suggest, there is a unit that rests behind the ear which is connected to a small tube that goes into the ear. Anyone looking at you from the side or behind can easily the notice the hearing aid. However, people will probably not notice the hearing aid when looking at you from the front.
The main benefit of BTE units is that they can fit basically any type of ear. This is especially valuable for children who are still growing, since their ear shape might change from year to year or even more frequently. BTE units are also a lot easier to clean than other devices since they are very easy to remove.
On the Ear (also known as Mini BTE)
This hearing aid is essentially a miniaturized version of a BTE, which means that it is quite a bit easier to conceal. The mini BTE is also the newest type of hearing aid and thus offers a much higher degree of comfort than other options. If you can afford it and are comfortable with a small degree of visibility, then a mini BTE would be an excellent option.
In the Ear
Unlike the previous varieties, this type of hearing aid does not have any components that are outside of the ear. If you are looking directly at the ear from the side, you will still be able to see the hearing aid, but it is not visible otherwise.
The flip side is that ITE units are harder to remove and clean. They might be a little more uncomfortable to wear, but they are much less obvious that hearing aids that rest on the ear.
In the Canal
Finally, the smallest type of unit is the ITC hearing aid (and by extension the Completely In Canal unit). This type of unit sits deep in the ear and is totally invisible from the outside. However, it is also the most intrusive and might not fit every ear. If you absolutely do not want anyone to know that you have a hearing aid, then an ITC or CIC unit is your best bet.