Hearing Aids And Rehabilitation

If the results of your hearing assessment indicate you could benefit from amplification, we provide an in-depth discussion of currently available hearing aid styles and technologies. During discussions we educate patients about the role of hearing aids in their overall hearing rehabilitation and the advantages and limitations of various styles and technologies.

We aim to present information in clear and unbiased terms to foster realistic expectations and to maximize the individual’s participation in their own rehabilitation. If the decision is to fit hearing aids, amplification is prescribed to precisely compensate for the individual’s hearing deficit.

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Realistic Expectations

It should be remembered that no hearing aid can be a complete substitute for normal hearing, despite some manufacturer claims. Our ears are an extension of our brains, and permit changes in focus depending on active thought processes. Hearing aids are not responsive to our changing thoughts and are no match for the dynamic human brain. However, most people will obtain significant benefit from well fitted hearing aids in many daily situations, providing expectations are realistic and motivation is sufficient.

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, each have advantages and limitations and suit different purposes and preferences.

BTE (Behind-The-Ear)

Worn over the top of the ear and transmit amplified signals to the ear canal via a thin hollow tubing.

  • Advantages: Can maximize air flow in and out of the ear canal.┬áLess visible for patients with longer hair.
  • Disadvantages: Some find them awkward to wear with glasses. Less natural positioning for phone use. May move about the ear with vigorous movements & outdoor activities. More visible for patients with short hair

ITE (In-The-Ear)

Worn in the ear, completely filling the bowl of the ear.

  • Advantages: Self-contained in the ear, nothing worn behind the ear. Easier to handle than smaller sizes for individuals with poor dexterity.
  • Disadvantages: Less cosmetically appealing than most other styles. Can make one’s own voice sound drummy for certain types of hearing loss.

CIC (Completely-In-The-Canal)

Worn almost entirely within the ear canal, with only a small faceplate visible at the canal entrance.

  • Advantages: Cosmetically appealing. Natural to use on the phone. Less wind noise for outdoors use.
  • Disadvantages: Typically permit less air exchange in the ear canal than a BTE. Can make one’s own voice sound drummy for certain types of hearing loss. Small batteries have limited life and can be fiddly to handle for some.