Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid.

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There are three main types of hearing aids. Which type you choose depends on how severe your hearing loss is, where you want to wear the hearing aid and your budget.

1. Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest type of device available. The part that fits in your ear is about the size of a pea or a pencil eraser, so you’ll hardly notice it’s there. CICs have a small tube that goes into your ear canal and a thin wire that fits around the ridge of your ear.

2. In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fit partly in the ear canal and partly in the outer part of the ear. They’re about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. The tube is visible, but usually blends in with your ear.

3. Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids fit partly in the outer part of the ear and partly behind it. They’re about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, depending on how far into the ear they go. The tube is visible, but usually blends in with your ear.

Tips for choosing a hearing aid

1. If you want to be able to hear in noise, choose an “open fit” hearing aid that has a vent (a tiny opening) in the tube that goes into your ear canal. This lets in lower-pitched sounds that you may not be able to hear with other types of hearing aids.

2. If you want to be able to hear the telephone and television better, choose a hearing aid that has a telecoil (a tiny magnet) and high-frequency emphasis (boosted volume for higher pitches). It’s also best if your TV uses an infrared light system rather than a radio frequency system.

3. If you want to be able to hear better in quiet situations, choose a hearing aid with directional microphones (sensitive to sounds coming from the front) and noise reduction (filters out background sounds).

4. If you want less feedback (whistling, screeching or howling when your hearing aid gets too close to your telephone), choose a hearing aid with a telecoil or FM system. Some wireless systems reduce feedback too.

5. If you want to be able to adjust your volume and tone, choose a hearing aid that lets you do so easily. The more adjustments you can make, the better. But Be careful not to turn up the volume too high or wear your hearing aid for too long. You could hurt your ears and make your hearing loss worse.

Whether you’re newly experiencing some degree of hearing loss or you’re seeking a better option for your older model hearing aid, there’s an advanced instrument designed to suit your individual needs. Fresno audiologist Dr. Dennis Thomas offers patients a wide range of services in diagnosing and treating hearing issues with the latest in sophisticated, customized technology.

When you visit your Fresno audiologist for a hearing evaluation, Dr. Thomas will take the time to understand your needs and explain your treatment options. Beltone hearing aids offer many features to help those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss meet their communication challenges with effective, state-of-the-art solutions.

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