What is the best hearing aid on the market today?

The very first commercially manufactured hearing aid was made available in 1913. However, this was large, heavy and not very easy to transport.

Since then the world of hearing aids has come a long way. No longer do we have large devices that are anything but discreet, but instead we have a selection of hearing aids that can be worn discreetly. They can also be worn during sport, or programmed to cut out all background noise and are all round more comfortable for the user.

With advancements in technology we can now connect our hearing aids to our phones with Bluetooth. We can have rechargeable batteries and we even have invisible hearing aids that are worn completely inside the ear canal.

If you are unsure which is the best type of hearing aid for you then you can obtain advice from speaking to your audiologist. By working with them to discover your degree of hearing loss and your type of lifestyle you will be able to choose which hearing aid is the best fit for you.

How do we know which is the best hearing aid?

Is it an invisible one or one that has the longest battery life? What makes a great hearing aid

The answer to this question will be different for everyone and will depend on several factors.

These include –

  1. The severity of your hearing loss
  1. Your expectations from a hearing aid
  1. Your lifestyle

All of these factors will play a big part in deciding which hearing aid is the best fit for you. 

Behind-The-Ear – BTE

The most well known hearing aid is a Behind-The-Ear (BTE).

This consists of a casing that sits behind the ear and houses the main components. The casing is connected to an earmold that sits in the outer ear.

Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are typically the largest types of hearing aids but they are becoming smaller and smaller all the time.

Users with mild to profound hearing loss can benefit from this type of hearing aid because of its larger size. It is much more powerful than some of it’s smaller counterparts. 

Receiver-In-Canal – RIC

A Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) is similar to a BTE, but is typically smaller and is an open fit style.

A thin plastic tube extends from the housing that is behind the ear. This tube goes over the outer ear and into the ear canal without sealing it.

This means that air and sound can continue to flow into the ear naturally.

As these hearing aids are larger than in the ear models they have a larger battery life and can house more features. 

In-The-Ear ITE and In-The-Canal ITC 

These two types of in the ear models are very discreet although not invisible.

They are both worn in the ear although the In-The-Canal mode sits further inside.

These are mainly used for mild to severe hearing loss but due to their smaller size would not be beneficial to those with profound hearing loss. 

Completely-In-Canal CIC and Invisible-In-Canal IIC 

As the names both suggest, these are the most discreet types of hearing aids currently on the market and are an excellent choice for those that lead a very active lifestyle.

They sit inside the ear canal and can be removed with a nylon string.

As these are smaller they cannot house as many functions. They have a shorter battery life and are not as powerful so are used for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. 

How do I know which type of hearing aid is best for me? 

As stated above, the perfect type of hearing aid for you will depend on several factors.

The biggest of these factors is what degree of hearing loss you have.

Those with more profound hearing loss will more than likely benefit from a larger model such as a Behind-The-Ear or Receiver-In-Canal. Whereas, someone with mild hearing loss that regularly plays sports would likely get along better with a Completely-In-Canal model. 

Can I get hearing aids on the NHS?

Hearing aids are available on the NHS and there are many benefits to going down this route, such as – 

  • Hearing aids are loaned to you completely free of charge. 
  • Batteries and repairs are free of charge. There may be a fee if you lose your hearing aids or they are broken beyond repair. 
  • All follow up and aftercare is free of charge. 

However, most hearing aids available on the NHS are the BTE models so if you are wanting one of the more discreet models then you may find that you have to pay privately to obtain these.

If you are unsure which is the best type of hearing aid for you then you can obtain advice from speaking to your audiologist. By working with them to discover your degree of hearing loss and your type of lifestyle you will be able to choose which hearing aid is the best fit for you. 

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