According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 out of every 5 men, and 1 out of every 8 women, have at least some trouble with their hearing. Among folks 65 and older, about 1 in 3 suffer from hearing loss. Age isn’t the only factor contributing to hearing loss throughout the population; other factors include excessive exposure to loud noise and related health conditions that correlate with hearing loss (such as ear infections, diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s, diabetes, hypertension, and more).
Would it surprise you to know that 28.8 million U.S. adults would benefit from the use of hearing aids, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders? With the sheer number of people who could use hearing aids, it’s no wonder that hearing aid manufacturers continue to invent new hearing aid types, catering to a diverse population that just wants to hear better.
Today, there are many different types of hearing aid, with the main two being Behind-The-Ear (BTE) and Receiver-In-Canal (RIC). Each of these types consists of a hard case which contains most, or all, of the electronics needed for operation.
The most significant differences between these two types come down to size, speaker location, and amplification.
To understand how a hearing aid works, let’s look at the main parts of a hearing aid and how they support basic functions of hearing aid use.
A hearing aid relies on battery power to operate. Hearing aid batteries come in different sizes, so it’s important to use the right type. They can also be rechargeable or disposable—a matter of preference.
The hearing aid’s microphone picks up sound, and sends it to the amplifier. The amplifier takes that sound and converts it into an electrical signal that can be sent to the receiver or speaker. The more severe the wearer’s hearing loss, the more powerful amplification is needed.
Ask anyone who relies on a hearing aid on a daily basis, and they’ll tell you how important it is for a hearing aid to function and fit properly. Ideally, the wearer will forget they’re even wearing a hearing aid at all—it’s that comfortable and works that well.
Before you make your decision, we recommend consulting with a reputable hearing care provider who can help you find the perfect hearing aid for you. If you’re currently using a hearing aid, they can help you make sure that your hearing aid is working properly, and potentially recommend hearing aids better suited to your lifestyle.
At Alpaca Audiology, we’re passionate about enabling better hearing. We work with over 200 clinics nationwide and partner with an extensive network of local providers, aiming to be your one-stop-shop for better hearing.
Check out our website today to find a clinic or take our best-in-class online hearing screener. We can’t wait to hear from you.