Hearing Loss

Frequently Asked Questions

19. What are the different types of hearing aids?

There are a number of different types of hearing aids to treat different kinds of hearing loss. Choosing one will depend on the kind of hearing loss you have, your lifestyle, and your own preferences.

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The electronic parts are held in the case behind the ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and into the ear.
  • Open-fit hearing aids fit completely behind the ear with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal. This lets the ear canal remain open.
  • In-the-ear hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear. The case holding the electronic components is made of hard plastic.
  • Canal hearing aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in-the-canal hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of your ear canal. A completely-in-canal hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal.

An audiologist or hearing aid specialist can help you determine if a hearing aid, or even two hearing aids, is the right treatment for you. Wearing two hearing aids may help balance sounds, improve your understanding of words in noisy situations, and make it easier to locate the source of sounds.