Today’s hearing aids are amazing. To think that you can fit multiple microphones, a loudspeaker and the most sophisticated digital signal processors in such a tiny, discreet device is beyond the wildest dreams of the early pioneers in this science.
Early versions of hearing aids were large because the components were borrowed from other devices like analogue radios. The first revolution came when these could be packaged into an ear level device. The next significant step was the use of digital amplifiers as this lent itself beautifully to the miniaturization of key components. Today, even severe hearing losses can be helped by tiny hearing aids made to fit the specific contours of the inside of someone’s ear canal.
Hearing aids come in so many different shapes and sizes. Importantly we are often asked ‘which is the right hearing aid for me?’ and the answer to this question is simple – the right hearing aid for you is the one that is appropriate for your hearing loss and that you are happy to use.
Your hearing aid audiologist is the person to ask which is hearing aids are appropriate for your hearing loss and your needs. Thereafter, you can decide whether you want a hearing system that it is easy to handle use and maintain or something that is invisible, but may require a bit more investment in time to use effectively.
The most commonly recognised types of hearing aid available in the UK today are – receiver in the canal (a very small behind the ear device with a wire feeding sound into the ear canal), behind the ear (with a thin tube and dome or a thick tube and custom built mould), in the ear and invisible.