In the past, analogue hearing aids were bulky and could perform only basic changes to incoming sounds — like increasing sound overall or boosting treble and bass sounds.
Nowadays, we have digital hearing aids. These modern hearing aids shape the sound more precisely to fit your hearing loss. They can filter out noise in order to help you better understand everyday sounds and they’re also much smaller and more discreet than the old hearing aids.
Almost all hearing aids today are digital, and there is such a variety now that it can be hard to know which type of hearing aid to choose.
We’ve put together this guide to explain the different types of modern hearing aids to help make your choice a little easier.
Apps and Bluetooth®-enabled hearing aids
Today’s hearing aids can connect directly to your mobile phone, TV and other audio devices through Bluetooth®, so you can enjoy clear sound streamed straight into your ears. An app on your smartphone can transform it into a control centre where you can change your hearing aid settings and check your battery life.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can still control your hearing settings easily by using a wireless remote control. This is available with many modern hearing aids, simply ask your hearing aid audiologist for advice.
Rechargeable batteries provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable hearing aid batteries. Many people love the convenience of popping their hearing aids in and out of a charger every night. Rechargeable hearing aids also eliminate the difficulty of changing small and fiddly hearing aid batteries.
Hearing aids come in technology levels ranging from basic to premium. The exterior portion of the hearing aids will not change, but the technology may be different. Hearing aids with more advanced technology have computer chips embedded in them that provide more features. Premium hearing aids offer the most sophisticated programs for helping you hear better in background noise. These features may be important to you if you lead an active lifestyle.
Extended-wear hearing aids are placed in the ear canal and worn for several weeks at a time. They are removed and replaced by a hearing care professional.
These hearing aids are prescribed when someone has one ear that is close to normal and one ear that has severe to profound hearing loss (unilateral hearing loss). A microphone worn on the poorer hearing side transmits sound to a receiver placed on the good ear. The receiver sends the sound into the good ear.
Bi-CROS hearing aids are similar to CROS hearing aids, except that the better ear also has some hearing loss. The device on the ear with poorer hearing amplifies sounds to compensate for the hearing loss before transmitting the sound into the better ear.
These are surgical devices inserted into the inner ear of people who have severe to profound hearing loss. When someone has more severe hearing loss, traditional hearing aids may not work well enough, so cochlear implants may be considered.
What brands of hearing aids are available at Specsavers?
We offer hearing aids from some of the leading manufacturers: Signia, Phonak and Resound.
We also offer the advance line, our own range of hearing aids. These are built by leading manufacturers specifically for Specsavers and offer some of the latest technology, including rechargeable Bluetooth®.