Tips on Hearing Aid Selection

Different Types of hearing aids provide different advantages and disadvantages. The client must choose which hearing aid he/she wants based on the audiologist’s advice and their own decisions after weighing the pros and cons. Body level hearing aids are sturdy, less expensive to buy and maintain. They also have lesser problems of feedback squeal if the earmoulds are not good. The disadvantages are that

  • the microphone is chest mounted and does not give ear level hearing.
  • there is a difficulty in eliminating the effects of cloth rubbing noise and body shadow (the body may block some sounds from reaching the microphone).
  • there is a difficulty in providing advantages of binaural hearing such as localization.

BTE hearing aids are more expensive to buy and maintain. They are small and thus easy to wear in children. They offer more flexibility with respect to adjustments in the output signal. BTE provide the advantage of binaural hearing as sounds are received at normal ear level. Localisation of sounds is easy compared to even 2 pocket model hearing aids.

In the ear and in the canal hearing aids also provide advantages of binaural amplification. They are expensive and not worthwhile for children because the entire hearing aid will need to be recased if the size and shape of the ear changes. In BTEs and pocket model aids, only earmoulds need to be changed. ITEs are also not useful for profound hearing losses. In the canal hearing aids fit in the ear canal and make use of the natural resonant properties of the external ear.

It is important to remember that irrespective of which style of hearing aid is chosen (BTE or pocket level) auditory training is required because that is what largely determines the child's progress.

Last updated on : 12/06/2010

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