The different types of hearing aids a leading UK audiologist recommends

Many people neglect their hearing loss because they are worried about the costs of hearing aids. However, over the years hearing aids have become more affordable and there is no reason for not visiting an audiologist and improving your quality of life. We look at what “Audiologist.co.uk” says about hearing aids:

Research has shown that older adults with hearing problems decrease their risk of dementia, depression, and injuries from falls if they wear hearing aids.

What types of hearing aids are available?

The best modern hearing aids are digital and this technology offers you excellent sound quality, comfort, and discreetness. There are quite a few types of hearing aids to choose from and your choice will depend on your hearing loss, features required, and budget.

Invisible hearing aids

There are two types of invisible hearing aids and these are known as in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC). These are the smallest hearing devices available and because they are placed within the ear canal, they are difficult for others to see.

In-the-ear hearing aids

An ITE hearing aid is a bit bigger than an ITC or CIC and fits into the outer part of the ear. They are a bit easier to operate than the more invisible models.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids

As the name suggests, BTE hearing aids have a small plastic case that sits behind the ear, with a small tube connecting to an earmold that fits into the ear canal. These are very safe for children to use, and are also popular with adults because they are capable of good amplification. New models are very streamlined and discreet.

Extended hearing aids

People who lead very active lifestyles usually opt for these hearing devices. An audiologist places these into the ear canal and they need not be removed for up to months at a time.

Which type of hearing aid is best?

According to the UK’s leading Audiology site: the best type of hearing aid for you will depend on quite a few factors. These include your level of hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. If you require invisible hearing aids, you can expect to pay more. Also, if your hearing loss is profound, a specialized hearing aid may be needed because an off-the-shelf-model may not be as effective.

Who are the best manufacturers of hearing aids?

There are a few manufacturers who have been making hearing aids for many years, while others are relatively new on the market. Included in the list of the current leading manufacturers are brands like Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Sivantos, Starkey, and Widex.

Depending on the brand, you can expect to pay more for some hearing aids. However, there are quite a few leading manufacturers that include more affordable models in their range.

These are some of the hearing aids recommended by audiologists right now:

Oticon Opn

This is one of the most popular hearing aids in the Oticon range and has some of the highest specifications on the market. Suitable for mild to severe hearing loss, this hearing aid has the best signal resolution and frequency across 64 channels. This is because of a 24-bit block-floating point representation. Even though this is one of the pricier models on the market, it has clear and natural sound and is very effective at blocking out background noise. It does not come in an in-the-ear model.

ReSound Linx2 9

The Linx2 9 has consistently ranked as the best hearing since it was first introduced in 2014 because it offers a natural hearing experience and covers the needs of 90% of hearing loss users.  The Linx2 9 uses 2.4 GHz wireless technology only available from ReSound and is also fully smartphone compatible. Each ear receives a fully balanced sound because of the system’s effective communication.

Starkey Soundlens Synergy

This range includes the smallest invisible in canal hearing aids available and these are not only 20% smaller than all others, but also have wireless technology. Users can stream sounds from the TV or stereo systems right into their ears. Understandably, because of their technology, these are one of the most expensive hearing devices on the market.

When is it necessary to get two hearing aids?

If the hearing loss is only in one ear, then only one hearing aid is needed. However, if both ears have hearing loss then two hearing aids are essential.

What is the price of hearing aids?

Depending on the type of hearing aids chosen, their cost can start from around £500 for a pair to quite a few thousand pounds. However, consideration needs to be given to more than just the upfront cost of a hearing aid. Other things that you need to consider when deciding are how long the hearing aids will last, how often they will need to be cleaned, and their battery life. A more expensive upfront cost may mean lower lifetime costs for you.

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