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Certain styles of hearing aids operate differently from others in terms of amplification power, customizable switches, wireless capability, and whether they are best suited for the activity level and lifestyle of the user. Smaller styles tend to be less visible but might lack the customizable options or amplification power that a larger style has, thus making them more useful for those with a mild hearing loss, while larger styles might be better suited for individuals who need the power and would like to be able to adjust their hearing aids in different environments. Different types of hearing aids will also use different sizes of batteries, allowing larger units to last longer while smaller units require greater battery use.
Leading consumer advocacy groups state that nearly two-thirds of hearing aids are incorrectly fit, leading to disuse. Put simply, hearing aid types best suited to the lifestyle of one individual won’t necessarily work very well for another individual — and it’s important for the hearing care provider to know what’s going to fit your lifestyle most comfortably. We all have different activity levels, and we all enjoy pursuing different forms of entertainment; getting your hearing aids fit by an experienced hearing care professional who knows the technology well is the best way to ensure that you’re wearing the right hearing system for you.
Some hearing aid types may be better than others at certain things. For example, larger units, like a BTE system, will have greater amplification capability than an invisible-in-the-canal unit simply because the size of the speaker in the hearing aid does not allow such a small device to be as powerful as a large device. As previously stated, getting your hearing aids fit by an experienced hearing care professional who knows the technology well is the best way to ensure that you’re wearing the right hearing system for you.
Although advancements in technology have made hearing aids as clear sounding as possible, certain hearing aids do create a “plugged up” feeling when worn because they seal around the entire ear canal. Some hearing aid styles, like the RIC type, have open earmolds that allow regular sounds to pass through.