A hearing aid is an electronic device that is worn either in or behind the ear. For a person with hearing loss, a hearing aid makes some sounds louder so they can listen, communicate, and participate fully in their daily activities. If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss and considering getting hearing aids, this article will help you better understand how a hearing aid can help you hear and communicate better.

How Does a Hearing Aid Work?

A hearing aid consists of three basic parts. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone. The sound is then converted into electrical signals and sent to an amplifier. Lastly, the amplifier increases the power of the signals and sends them through a speaker into the ear. Thus, sounds become louder.

Certain hearing aids, like a Widex hearing aid, can offer users additional features to ensure the user is able to get a personalized experience with their Widex hearing aid.

What Styles of Hearing Aids Are There?

Hearing aids have come a long way since 1898 when the first electric hearing aid was invented and 1952 when the first all-transistor hearing aid was developed.

There are three common styles of hearing aids. Depending on your ear shape and hearing needs, your audiologist may recommend a specific style.

Canal aids: This style of hearing aid is available in two types. The in-the-canal hearing aid is made to fit the person’s ear canal. A completely-in-canal hearing aid is hidden in the ear canal. Both of these types of hearing aids are used for mild to moderately severe hearing impairment.

In-the-ear (ITE): This style of hearing aid fits completely inside the outer ear. It typically consists of a hard plastic case holding the electronic components inside. Additionally, some ITE aids may have certain features added for specific uses. ITE aids are usually used for mild to severe hearing loss.

Behind-the-ear (BTE): This style of hearing aid consists of a hard plastic case that is worn behind the ear. The case is connected to a plastic earmold that then fits inside the outer ear. In this setup, sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and then into the ear. BTE aids can be used by anyone of any age for mild to profound hearing loss.

Which Hearing Aid is Right for Me?

Because everyone has different needs and lifestyles, you and your audiologist should go over your hearing aid options together. Finding the right hearing aid for you will depend on the severity and kind of your hearing loss.

It’s important to remember that a hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. However, a high-quality device, like a Widex hearing aid, can increase your awareness of sounds around you. You should select a hearing aid that is comfortable for you and allows you to fully participate in your daily life.