Hearing aids today are digital and can be programmed on a computer according to the client’s specific test results.
The main types of hearing aids are behind the ear (BTE), receiver in the ear (RIE) and custom hearing aids.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids
In this type of hearing aid all the electronics are fitted in a casing that fits behind the ear and is connected to a mould that conducts the sound into the ear canal. BTE hearing aids are more robust and easier to handle due to the larger design. Usually, the amount of amplification is greater than with smaller, in the ear hearing aids as there is more space for a larger microphone, a bigger battery, a volume control and program button. BTE hearing aids work well for children because of its durable design. The elderly with diminished visual ability and fine motor function can also benefit from a bigger hearing aid.
Receiver in the ear (RIE) hearing aids
This is a newer type of hearing aid where the electronics of the hearing aid are housed behind the ear but the receiver is fitted with a thin tube inside the ear canal. The hearing aid itself is much smaller and less visible. The receiver fits completely into the ear canal and is almost invisible from the outside. The wire inside the thin tube connects the hearing aid, speaker and receiver (which conduct sound to the ear canal). This type of hearing aid is cosmetically more acceptable to most people and because it is less visible, people tend to accept the hearing aid more readily. Depending on the degree of the hearing loss and subsequently the size of the hearing aid, this model can be fitted with only one program option and no volume control or, for the bigger models, can have a program button and / or a volume control.