There are essentially two types of hearing aids available worldwide. These are in-the-ear hearing aids and behind-the-ear hearing aids. The size of both models can vary depending of the different features, buttons and battery sizes.

Many of our clients like to go for tiny hearing aids that are unnoticed by even their family and friends, but some others love to show off their cool new devices. One particular client absolutely loved her leopard print aids that she had her hair cut short just so she could show them off. She arrived with a matching handbag and shoes at her follow up appointment – she just loved to show everyone her funky new hearing aids.

However, sometimes a slightly bigger hearing aid is a better option, especially for things like making it easy to change a battery for people with arthritis or vision problems. Also, some people love a bigger hearing aid as they find it easy to put on and may be stronger for their hearing loss.

We strongly believe that we have the best range of hearing aids in Australia as we are completely independent and can source hearing aids from all over the world. We work with you so that we can find the best solution for your ear, your hearing and most importantly the places where we can help you hear better that are important to YOU.

In the ear Hearing Aids – small to large

An in-the-ear device is a hearing aid that is completely contained within the bowl of your ear. They can range from extremely tiny invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids to larger full concha hearing aids.

A common question is what the differences between these aids? Why wouldn’t everyone go for the invisible hearing aid?

In your appointment, we will guide you in explaining why different size options are best for you. We will look at your audiogram (hearing loss chart), your ear shape and size and also your dexterity (hand control for changing batteries). At the end of the day, the hearing aid choice is completely yours as you are the one wearing it – we will make sure we find a solution that is appealing to you and that sounds great.

The things we take into consideration are:

  • The extent of your hearing loss. The greater the loss, the bigger and more powerful we need the receiver to be to provide you with enough sound so you can hear clearly.
  • The shape of your ear canal. Comfort is extremely important to us. If you have very small, narrow or bendy ear canals, we work to find a small device to fit you perfectly.
  • The shape of your audiogram. In other words, what pitches are more affected than others. If you have what we call a sloping loss, then you have worse high pitched hearing than low pitched hearing. Generally, we may offer you a tiny behind –the-ear hearing aid as an alternative to an in-the-ear device as these are specifically designed for this kind of hearing loss. They keep the ear open and allow air and natural sound to flow in with the sound from the hearing aid. See below
  • Your dexterity – controls on an in-the-ear hearing aid are often very small and we make sure that anything like arthritis or more difficult finger/ hand function doesn’t affect how well you can use your aid. Quite often we order automatic hearing aids or remote controls to help with this, but as long as you can change the batteries, you will be fine.
  • What YOU like. This ultimately is the key for us and we will work with you to find the best solution so YOU are happy.
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Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids

This very new style of hearing aid is extremely exciting and the look of them is just incredible. The hearing aid itself is tiny, almost the size of a 2 peas joined together and sits very deep inside the earcanal. From the outside you cannot see it all. This is because when we take the mould for it, we go quite deep down so it can be made as small as possible and is completely custom made for your ear. The actual front and body of the hearing aid is usually black so it blends into the shadow of the canal.

Why these aids are so popular is because firstly they are invisible. Secondly, they actually use the natural shape and acoustics of the human ear to let you hear well. Because they are so far down, the sound is sent straight to your ear really clearly.

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Behind-the-ear Hearing Aids, small to large

A behind the ear hearing aid has a piece that sits behind the ear hidden in the shadow of the ear. This part has the microphones which pick up sounds and separate it from background noise. Then a small tube or wire channels the sound into the ear canal.

People often ask whether a behind-the-ear hearing aid will affect wearing glasses. The answer is generally no. This is because hearing aids are so small and slim these days and also they sit comfortably next to the arm of the glasses and do not interfere at all.

In the last 5 years, demographics have shown that more than 90% of hearing aid wearers choose a behind-the-ear hearing aid over an in-the-ear style. This mainly has to do with the introduction of Open Fitting hearing aids.

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Open Fitting Hearing Aids

The most common type of hearing loss we see is age related or noise related hearing loss. This type of hearing loss means that high pitches are damaged more than the low pitches. Sometimes the low pitch hearing is still normal and then the loss slopes down.

When you have a hearing loss like this, it is generally not a good idea to wear an in-the-ear hearing aid as this means that all the low pitch and high pitch sound have to go through the hearing aid microphone before they get to your eardrum.

If you have normal low pitched hearing, this can sound a little unnatural and boomy. It is far better to open up the ear canal by just having a tiny dome or custom open mould in the ear canal.

What this means is that your natural low pitch hearing can mix with the amplified sound rather than low and high pitched sound all being amplified. The benefit to you is that you feel completely free and open.

The best thing is that it is so, so comfortable – hardly like wearing anything at all.

The behind-the-ear unit itself is usually tiny and we help you choose a colour that blends in with your hair or skin tone. These hearing aids are often so discreet that we, the experts, sometimes can’t even tell if it is in the ear!

Open ear hearing aids can come in two versions a) Receiver-in-the-canal and b) slim tube. By far, our first preference for you would be receiver-in-the canal as the sound quality is much better. The reason for this is that the actual speaker is sitting inside your ear canal, close to the eardrum so brilliant sound is being sent straight to the eardrum with crystal clarity.

Another great advantage of receiver-in-the-ear units is that we can cater for all strengths of hearing loss from mild to profound by just changing the receiver. That means tiny, discreet and extremely comfortable for all patients, even if they are profoundly deaf.

Slim tube hearing aids have a thin hollow tube leading to the dome or custom mould in the ear canal. The microphone and speaker are still housed behind the ear. Typically, we would only fit this to a very narrow and tiny ear canal which cannot fit the receiver. For these ears, it is a brilliant and invisible solution.

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Behind-the-ear aids with an earmould

For more severe hearing losses, it is important that we keep as much sound contained in the ear canal as possible for you to hear well. We would fit a behind-the-ear device with a custom made earmould. These aids are sometimes a fraction larger than open fitting aids and can have manual volume controls and program buttons on them. They are also compatible with remote controls and are very reliable.

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Wireless and Bluetooth hearing aids

This is really an exciting time to be getting hearing aids. Wireless and Bluetooth technology now allow you to be connected to a mobile phone, home phone, TV, computer, Skype, Ipod, Ipad, voice microphones and any other gadget that uses Bluetooth.

What does this mean for you and how does it work?

It means that you can be connected to and hear with super clarity the sound coming from what you are listening to. Take for example a mobile phone. When your phone rings, it will now ring in your hearing aids, so no more missed calls. You can answer the phone and have the entire conversation through your hearing aids without even picking up the handset. This is the same for talking on the home phone or through Skype.

It means you can hear the TV or music clearly even over a large distance. You can turn your TV to zero, have it as loud as you like in your hearing aids, and even go into another room to make yourself a coffee and have the TV or music signal exactly as though you were standing right in front of it.

This technology is really fantastic and we are proud to be the experts in this field. The even better news is that we set everything up for you. You do not have to go home with instruction manuals and try to figure out how to connect everything. We will program any device you like and even come to your home to get things like TV set up hassle free. We give you this service for FREE.

The other really good news is that Bluetooth is not just a hearing aid technology. It is an electronics industry standard and has been tried, tested and approved and is in use with most electronic devices. This means that is reliable and can be trusted.

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