Hearing aid devices have come a long way from the large and bulky devices that fit over the ear. Even devices that still fit over the ear are smaller, thinner, and less conspicuous. There are now devices that rest just outside the ear canal, as well as ones that fit entirely in the canal and are barely visible. Some hearing aids can also be contained around the folds and contours of the outer ear.
There are strengths and weaknesses of each type so many factors are taken into consideration when professionals make recommendations regarding brands, types, and sizes. The first factor is the degree of hearing loss to be addressed. Patients who cannot discern different noises in a crowded area may hear better with traditional devices. Those with minor loss may be able to hear fine with a less powerful inner canal device.
The physical structure of the ear is an important factor because one of the reasons patients report for discontinuing use of devices is an uncomfortable fit. No two ears are shaped exactly alike. There are some cases where barely visible devices cannot be placed in the ear canal. Alternative devices have to be used.
Budget is a major consideration for some patients. Those with insurance can check to see if the hearing test and a percentage of total device costs are covered. If there are serious constraints, it is wise to mention them to the professional working with you to determine which options are viable. Costs vary so any constraints will affect possible options. There are styles in most types of devices that are cost-effective.
Prolonging the Life of Devices
Once a type and brand are decided upon, and fittings are completed, patients will get detailed instructions regarding the care and cleaning required. Following the instructions and treating devices with care will prolong the life of the hearing aid(s). They have to be cleaned daily to prevent wax from clogging the piece.
Storing them in the case provided will avoid them getting knocked to the floor or lost. Another important practice to maintain is taking the batteries out when the device(s) is not in use. It will save battery time and money on replacements.