Hearing Aid Styles

IIC: Invisable In-The-Canal

CIC: Completely In-The-Canal

ITE & ITC: In-The-Ear/Canal

RIC: Receiver In-The-Canal

BTE: Behind-The-Ear

Patient Involvement

This is the smallest type of custom hearing aid, fitting past the second bend in the canal. This means that this hearing aid is virtually invisible, and is appropriate for mild to moderate hearing loss.

The second smallest type of hearing aid, this type is almost invisible. In fact, a small stem coming from the hearing aid is needed to pull it out of the ear. This is one of the most popular styles of hearing aid, and can fit most losses.

These are the largest types of custom hearing aids, normal filling up the entire ear. These are best used with moderate to severe hearing loss or patients with dexterity issues.

This type of hearing aid is placed behind the ear, and a small electronic receiver is placed right next to the tympanic membrane (Eardrum). By placing the receiver so close, this allows the wearer to get a more accurate fitting.

Placed behind the ear, it typically also has a custom mold. This type of hearing aid can fit some of the most severe hearing losses because the microphone is placed on the hearing aid, not in the ear, allowing for more room.

Open Fit: Non-Molded

This type of hearing aid is designed to provide the wearer with the natural sound of their own hearing by opening up the canal, but still providing amplification. It involves a small receiver or tube that slips into the ear. No custom fitting needed.

Modern hearing aids are complicated, mini-computers that process sounds at thousands of times per second to deliver the best sound quality and speech understanding levels possible. Because of this, it is no wonder some patients get overwhelmed when trying to decide between different types and technology levels. How many “channels” should my hearing aid have? What does “wireless” mean? Analog or digital? These are just a few of the questions we hear from patients on a daily basis.

At Bragg Family Hearing Aid Centers, we go to great lengths to involve our patients in every aspect of their care, and one of the ways we do that is by making sure our patients are well informed. After your hearing evaluation, we thoroughly explain the results and go over your treatment options. Every hearing loss is unique, and we will explain how each feature and technology level will affect your ability to understand in the real world.  We believe that by going in depth about each aspect of the hearing aids, we can achieve our goal of helping our patients make informed and confident hearing healthcare decisions.

Technological Advancements

Because of the rapid changing nature of hearing aid technology, Bragg Family Hearing Aid Centers is constantly researching and testing new advancements to better serve our patients. We evaluate technology based on three three criteria. The first is, “How easy is it to use?”. While the internal workings of a hearing aid are complicated, the experience for the user should be simple and straightforward. The second is, “How will it affect the user’s ability to hearing conversations in the real world?”. This is truly the most important aspect. When you approach challenging listening situations, the hearing aids should be able to prioritize the most important sounds intelligently and prescriptively manage the patient’s unique hearing loss so that conversation is crisp and clear, even in crowded rooms. And the third is, “How pleasant is the sound to the user?”. Even if a device helps a patient hear better, if it sounds and feels too uncomfortable or distracting, it will not be an effective solution long term.

By evaluating technology based on this criteria, we can help you choose the best possible hearing device for your hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Basics

While some aspects of hearing technology changes, there are some features that every modern hearing aid should have. These include:

100% Digital - The first 100% digital hearing aid was released to market by Oticon in 1995. At the time, it was a revolutionary development in hearing technology. Today, it is the standard for quality hearing healthcare.

100% Programmable - As digital hearing aids evolved, so did the programming capabilities of those hearing aids. Now, basic hearing aids should, at minimum, be able to independently adjust sound at 4 different frequency levels and 4 different output levels. This helps your specialist prescriptively fit the hearing aid to your loss.

Background Noise Reduction - Hearing aids are not worn in a vacuum. While there are different types of noise reduction, all quality hearing aids must have some sort of noise reduction algorithm to help it’s wearer manage every day listening situations.

Telephone Capabilities - Because of the prevalence of telephones in our society, any modern hearing aid absolutely must have the capability to improve sound quality on the phone.

Feedback Management - The fact is this - most hearing aids should not whistle when you get close to them. Feedback is caused when the output of a hearing aid reaches it’s microphone, creating a looped signal. In the past, when a patient would alter the acoustics around by putting a hand near it, it would cause the hearing aid to produce a feedback sound. Now, with the exception of a few very severe hearing losses, adequate feedback management software has made this issue a thing of the past.  

Other Options

Along with the basics, there are many new features that are available to our patients. Some of these include:

Rechargeable Aids - One of the most exciting advancements in recent years has been the development of rechargeable hearing aids. These hearing aids will last more than 24 hours on a single charge and take away the hassle of changing batteries constantly.  

Wireless Features - One of the newest advancements in hearing technology has been the “wireless” hearing aid. Wireless hearing aids are designed to communicate with each other and share information about the sound input. This allows them to make more precise decisions in group settings.

Speech Discrimination Software - One of the most important features a hearing aid can have, this software recognizes each individual type of speech and automatically adjusts them to fit your hearing needs. Directional Microphones - A feature that has been prevalent in hearing aids for several years, directional microphones allow the user to better separate sounds in groups by intentionally focusing the microphones forward in noisy situations.

Accessories and Bluetooth Capability - There are many different types of accessories that are available to patients, including Bluetooth connectivity, direct streaming to the TV, remote microphones, and many more.

Making the Right Decision

With all of these options, how do you know you are making the right decision? At Bragg Family Hearing, we try to put this worry to rest. First, after discussing our recommendations, we will perform a live demonstration of the hearing system we believe best fits your needs. During this demonstration, we encourage our patients to turn on the TV, talk with loved ones, and really get a feel for how they sound. Secondly, we have a comprehensive warrantee on every one of our products to give you peace of mind that your hearing aids will continue to work well in to the future.  And finally, we have a 100% Guarantee on every hearing aid system we fit. If for any reason you do not want to keep your hearing aids, return them within the 30 day trial period and receive a 100% refund.

If you would like to have a free hearing evaluation and demonstration, please give us a call at 405-751-2552 to set up your appointment.

Custom Hearing Protection

We offer the latest technology in electronic shooter’s plugs, as well as a variety of custom ear molds

Hearing Systems and Devices