Digital Hearing Aids explained

Posted on: 28 May 2014 by Gareth Hargreaves

Age related hearing loss (presbycusis), affects 40% of people over 50. Also known as Sensorineural Hearing Loss, it is a condition often ignored in its early stages. This easy to follow guide explains the many options available if you are concerned about your hearing.

age-related hearing loss

Figures estimate that hearing loss affects around two out of 10 adults in the UK. Most of the affected population are over the age of 60 and have lost their hearing gradually, making it harder to notice straightaway. The Most common symptoms of hearing loss can include a real difficultly in hearing people when you're in a busy noisy place and earache with or without a continual ringing in your ears. There are many reasons for loss of hearing, some are age related, some are directly linked with medial conditions such as infections and some are caused due to our lifestyle choices during the years.

If you suspect you might be suffering from a hearing loss, you should get a diagnosis. Your first point of call is to visit your GP where a basic hearing test will be performed or you might get referred to a specialist in hearing called an audiologist. Side by side with seeking medial consultation you may want to undertake an online hearing test which is normally quick, free and accurate. The online hearing test is a type of Speech-in-noise check which uses spoken numbers in two different types of background noise.

Following the different tests, the prognosis might include several kind of treatments to reduce your hearing loss depending on the cause. Treatments can vary from the very basic of recommending lifestyle changes, to taking medicine and in profound hearing loss to surgery intervention. Though for most people with mild to moderate hearing loss, a device called a digital hearing aid will likely be recommended. Digital hearing aids are wearable mini-computers which are either programmable or pre-programmable, can suppress background noise and are very lightweight. There are 5 common types of digital hearing aids, which are distinguished by how they fit on the wearer's ear. In this article we'll touch on the differences between each type.  

Types Of Digital Hearing Aids:

  1. Over The Ear Hearing Aid (OTE) - Also known as OTE hearing aid, it's a type of digital hearing aid which fits over the ear as the name suggests. Although popular, OTE are less discreet compared to other types.
  2. Completely in The Ear Hearing Aid (CIC) - A type of small digital hearing aid which fits right inside the ear canal and is therefore considered a more discreet hearing aid. 
  3. In The Canal Hearing Aid (ITC) - Similar to completely in the ear hearing aid, it is small, but not smaller. This means that some of the aid will be visible outside of the ear. Also known as ITC hearing aid. 
  4. In the Ear Hearing Aid (ITE)- A type of digital hearing aid which is slightly on the large side. It fits completely into the ear and due to its size, might have better amplification characteristics. Some types of ITE devices may include the ability to work with phone amplifiers. 
  5. Behind The Ear Hearing Aid (BTE) - Also know as BTE hearing aid, it's a type of digital hearing aid which is extremely popular among many of the older hard of hearing population. One part if the aid resides behind the ear, while the second fits comfortably into the ear through a tube. 

When buying a hearing aid, it is important to shop around and research well. Prices and quality can vary, and so does the length of the guarantee it comes with. There are couple of options on how to obtain a hearing aid, from getting a hearing aid through the NHS, to buying privately from your local high street hearing centre to the most recent option of buying online. During your research you will come across the benefits of each option from quick availability when bought privately to value for money when bought online.

Article by UK based start up Hearing Direct™. offers hearing aids online, as well as, a free online hearing check which is accurate and quick.


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