Hearing Aids

Types of Hearing Aids

Longmont, Colorado

It’s important to remember that not all hearing aids are the same, even though they may look alike. Two styles — Receiver-In-Canal and In-The-Canal — are the industry leaders and represent the majority of our modern-day fittings.

Types of Hearing Aids

At Longmont Hearing & Tinnitus Center, we offer a variety of hearing aids to fit any style preference, need, and budget.

We are a fully independent audiology practice dedicated to fitting you with the right technology for your needs. That means we are NOT owned or beholden to any hearing aid manufacturer.

We only work with large reputable manufacturers, ensuring that the product we help you choose is the best available. We only dispense major manufacturers’ products so that no matter where you are, you can obtain the care and service that you deserve.

Technological advances have produced more options in hearing aid electronics and styles than ever before, and there are continual gains being made in the industry. Electronics, price, and style all play a part in the choice of a hearing aid. 

Longmont Hearing & Tinnitus Center services most brands of devices. When was the last time you had your hearing aids checked?

Make an appointment with us today, and let’s make sure your device is in tip-top shape!

How Does A Hearing Aid Work?

To help you better understand the different types of hearing aids, knowing the basic parts of the device is a must. All hearing aids have the same parts that carry sounds from the environment to the ear. Most hearing aids nowadays are digital, and all are either powered by a rechargeable battery or a traditional hearing aid battery.

Small microphones are responsible for identifying, collecting, and picking up sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier then converts the incoming sound into digital code. It does this by analyzing and adjusting the sound based on the wearer’s hearing loss, listening needs, and level of ambient sound. The amplified signals are then converted into sound waves and delivered to the ears through receivers (also known as speakers).

Communication Needs Assessment

At Longmont Hearing & Tinnitus Center, we’re dedicated to providing hearing aids that are properly fitted and customized to every individual patient’s needs. Hearing aid assessments are part of the fitting process and help to ensure the appropriate hearing aids / assistive devices are selected and properly fit.

AZBIO

AZBio sentences were developed as a metric of performance in everyday listening environments, and the test results are considered more representative of a patient’s hearing ability outside of the clinic environment. This is a common test used to assess hearing after a cochlear implant.

TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION

The hearing aid / assistive device demonstration consists of fitting the appropriate device based upon the above-mentioned tests, along with a discussion on the appropriate technology and features that will most benefit the patient. This demonstration allows the patient to experience the benefit of the hearing aids / assistive device in their own environment, where they encounter the most difficulty.

QUICKSIN

The QuickSIN is a speech-in-noise test that measures the ability to hear in a noisy environment. Speech understanding in noise cannot be reliably predicted from the audiogram or other standard hearing tests.

ABBREVIATED PROFILE OF HEARING AID BENEFIT

The APHAB is a valuable clinical instrument. It is useful for quantifying the disability associated with a hearing loss, and the benefit that is achieved with a hearing aid or assistive device.

CONFORMITY/REAL EAR VERIFICATION

Real Ear Measurement (REM) represents a valid, repeatable and reliable method of assessing the sound pressure level in the ear canal, with or without a hearing instrument in place. The measurement is taken during your hearing aid fitting using a calibrated probe tube placed 3mm-5mm from the tympanic membrane. The primary purpose of REM is to measure the performance of a hearing instrument while in the patient’s ear to ensure that sounds are audible, comfortable, and tolerable across the frequencies of the patient’s reduced dynamic range.

ACCEPTABLE NOISE LEVEL

This test is used as needed to determine individual acceptable noise intensities while listening to speech. Calculations can be used as a predictor of potential success with hearing instruments.

Types of Hearing Aids

There are different types of hearing aids based on their design, technology, and how they are powered. Initially, there were two main types of hearing aids – analog and digital. Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electric signals and amplify the sounds in the process. Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes (computer codes) and make them louder. Modern hearing aids belong to the digital hearing aids category.

BEHIND-THE-EAR (BTE)

COMPLETELY-IN-CANAL (CIC)

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are molded to fit inside the ear canal. These improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

RECEIVER-IN-CANAL (RIC)

INVISIBLE-IN-THE-CANAL (IIC)

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are custom molded and fit completely in the ear canal. This type of hearing aid can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

IN-THE-CANAL (ITC) / HALF SHELL

IN-THE-EAR (ITE)

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom made in two styles: one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear (also known as full shell), and one that fills only the lower part of the ear (half shell). Both styles are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss, and are available with directional microphones (two microphones) for better hearing in noise.

Hearing Aid Repair - Longmont, Colorado

If you have a problem with your hearing aids, you can depend on our professionals for expert cleaning and repair of any type of hearing aid from most manufacturers. Most repairs can be performed in-house while you wait. If your hearing aids must be returned to the manufacturer for warranty repair, we will take care of that for you. If your hearing aids are not under warranty, we will give you an estimate of the repair cost before any work is done.

Personalized Hearing Aid Care

No matter how careful you are with your hearing aid, things happen. If an accident has led to malfunction or damage to your hearing aids, we are here to help. The first step is an assessment of the damage. Some issues are reparable in-office, while others may require the involvement of the manufacturer. Our staff is equipped and educated to help you determine the next steps so we can get you hearing your best again.

Before bringing your hearing aids to us, we can help you with some basic troubleshooting. To help us narrow down the cause and resolution to your problem, you can try these things at home before bringing the device(s) to us:

  • Change the wax guards
  • Change the domes
  • Replace the batteries, or place rechargeable aids on the charging station to make sure
  • Connections are operating (and be sure the charging lights are illuminated)
  • Determine if the device is turning on by listening for start-up chimes and / or checking its Bluetooth connection on your phone.

If your device is still not working properly after troubleshooting, it’s time to bring it to the professionals.

Audiologists and hearing aid specialists at Longmont Hearing and Tinnitus Center can remedy a myriad of issues. From broken receiver wires or plugged wax guards, to brittle tubing and torn domes, a lot of the most common problems are resolvable right here in the office. In some cases, you can walk out with a repaired aid on the same day you brought it in!

If upon assessment, we discover that your device needs more intensive repairs, we will recommend forwarding it to its respective manufacturer. Such services or concerns may include custom casing repairs, embedded receiver issues, internal electrical and hardware problems, and other more extensive services. 

These repairs are sent directly to the manufacturer for specialized resolution, and typically take about 10 – 14 business days to return to the office. Depending on the age of your devices and the status of your warranty, the cost of these repairs is determined by the manufacturer. We ensure you receive only the best in audiology care by working with some of the best names in the business, such as: Starkey, Oticon, Phonak, Signia/Siemens, ReSound, Unitron, Widex, and Cochlear.

How to choose the best hearing aid?

With so many different types of hearing aids available on the market, choosing the best device that fits your needs and lifestyle can be tricky. At Longmont Hearing and Tinnitus Center, we are dedicated to staying on top of your hearing health. From performing diagnostic hearing tests, to walking you through the various types of hearing aids, to fitting assistive devices, we are your partner in achieving your hearing health goals!