As we get older, our faculties begin to deteriorate, and with getting older, comes concerns about hearing loss. When you are getting on in years, you can suffer from hearing damage caused by other common problems, such as a viral infection, or exposure to loud noise. Tinnitus occurs for various reasons, and if you are suffering from this, there’s no need to let it impact your life. Hearing aids are a great solution to a widespread problem. But hearing aids aren’t what they used to be. In fact, they have come a long way since the olden days of bulky devices (and even further away from the ear trumpets). Let’s show you some of the types of hearing aids you can use if you suffer from tinnitus.
Behind the ear (BTE)
These are worn with a hearing aid placed on top of the ear, as well as behind the ear. The components of the device are located in the case of the back of the ear. As such, they are joined to the ear canal via a tube or tip. As this is the most common hearing aid style, there are various options available in size and color. Because the design is discreet, this is a great option for anyone looking to conceal their hearing aid. While many people can feel self-conscious about wearing one, this design can suit you perfectly allowing you to live your life without a device worn inside the ear. These devices are ideal for individuals with mild-to-profound hearing loss and can be equipped with features to help treat tinnitus.
In the ear (ITE)
ITE devices sit in the outer ear bowl and offer more privacy than a BTE hearing aid, but are easier to handle than the smaller canal counterpart. They are available in full and half shell varieties and can be selected in skin or hair tones to help them blend more naturally with your appearance. Because they are slightly larger than canal devices, they are typically more comfortable to handle by individuals with dexterity issues. These devices are suitable for individuals with mild-to-moderately-severe hearing loss and can be equipped with options to provide tinnitus relief.
In the canal (ITC)
The electronics sit in a device that fits inside your ear canal and can come in different types, including completely in canal (CIC), ITC and invisible in canal (IIC). These devices all sit within the canal, some, like the invisible option, however, are located deeper and can require an audiologist’s help to properly insert and remove. Offering more discreetness and privacy than the other options, ITC hearing aids provide a more natural hearing experience due to their location in the canal. These are most often recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and can be equipped with tinnitus features if other advanced options are not required.
Hearing aid features
Hearing aids are commonly used to treat tinnitus because they can be equipped with features that mask or override the sounds you hear. This feature, known as masking, uses white noise to cover the ringing, buzzing or whooshing you hear. While most hearing aid styles can be equipped with features to mask tinnitus, the smaller options like canal devices may not offer enough power or settings to handle all the options you want. Your audiologist will work with you to find the right technology and features to accommodate your needs. Your audiologist may also recommend tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) in tandem with hearing aid treatment. This will help you emotionally cope with the sounds you hear, which can also help alleviate your symptoms.
As you can see, hearing aids have come a long way from the old-fashioned transistor hearing aids, the digital hearing aids of the 1970s, and even ear trumpets. Hearing aids aren’t seen as the frustrating, bulky device that you have to wear around your neck or in your pocket anymore. Hearing aids can be discreet, and allow you to function in your day to day life with minimal issue. And for those who have tinnitus, this condition can be treated effectively with the right hearing aid, allowing them to function with, and minimize the problem.
If you have misconceptions about living with a hearing impairment or think that hearing aids aren’t for you, as you can see, there are plenty to choose from to suit your lifestyle. Worrying about your hearing disappearing doesn’t need to be a major concern anymore, nor should living with tinnitus. But if you have any queries, or want to discuss your options, you can call the San Francisco Hearing Center.