As you begin your journey to better hearing, you’ll find an overwhelming number of hearing aid types and styles. Each hearing aid style accomplishes the same general goal by capturing sound and amplifying it based on your specific hearing loss diagnosis. However, some types of hearing aids are designed for mild to moderate hearing loss, while others are better equipped for severe hearing loss. Additionally, connectivity options, style, and comfort also vary by model. Here’s an overview of each hearing aid style.
Hearing aids not only come in a variety of styles, but they also come in two different technology types, analog and digital. Analog hearing aids capture sound through a microphone that amplifies the audio before sending it to speakers in your ear.
Unfortunately, people typically don't experience deafness equally among all frequencies. Therefore, the increased audio can become uncomfortable for patients that only experience deafness at certain frequencies.
Analog hearing aids are the traditional style of hearing aid, and the simplicity of the design typically makes it a more economical option.
Digital hearing aids are a newer technology that the majority of manufacturers have now adopted. This mechanism accepts sound through a microphone. Rather than making every sound louder, it translates the sound into computer code. This allows the sound to be cleaned and amplified based on that person's hearing preferences.
While these are the most common hearing aid solutions, there are other solutions available for more severe hearing loss. For example, if a part of the ear is damaged, middle ear implants, cochlear implants, and brainstem implants deliver are alternatives. These options send sound directly to the auditory nerve and bypass the damaged part of the ear.
Additionally, patients that experience complete hearing loss in one ear or conductive hearing loss may use bone conduction or bone-anchored solutions. Talk to your audiologist to learn what is best for you.