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About Hearing Aids


Modern hearing technology has advanced substantially over the years, offering new developments and devices that can help virtually anyone with a hearing loss to claim back their sense of sound and communicate more easily.


Even if in the past you have been told that hearing aids won't work for you, this may no longer be the case. 

The style of hearing aid suitable for you will depend on several factors, including your personal preference and budget, your hearing loss, and your physical ability to manipulate small controls. Your audiologist will discuss this with you before recommending appropriate hearing aid/s.

There are several different types and styles of hearing aids available, and as Academic Hearing Aids deals with all of the major hearing aid manufacturers, we have literally hundreds of hearing aids from which to choose.

Some of these manufacturers include: Phonak, Oticon, Starkey, Widex, Unitron, Bernafon, Siemens, GN ReSound, and Sonic Innovations.



Style of Hearing Aids


Hearing aids are most commonly available in these styles:


Receiver in the canal (RIC) hearing aids


RIC hearing aids are worn behind the ear with a receiver placed in the ear canal connected by a thin ‘wire’, with a dome on the end.

Image courtesy Unitron, Siemens, Oticon


Advantages:

  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses (mild-to-profound)

  • Often interchangeable with different receiver strengths to accommodate  changes in hearing

  • Has the option of not plugging up the ear canal which makes the amplified sound more natural

  • Less conspicuous and more comfortable

  • Able to fit more features such as volume control, directional microphones, program button and telecoil.

  • If a larger battery, has a longer battery life


Disadvantages:

  • Wax filter at the end of the receiver will need to be changed regularly

  • If manual dexterity is limited, it may be difficult to put in the ear

  • Telephone use can be awkward  with certain hearing losses

  • May interfere with arms of the glasses affecting the retention of hearing aids

  • Potential issues with wind noise blowing against the hearing aid microphones



Open fit (BTE) hearing aids


Open fit hearing aids are also worn behind the ear. It has thin clear tubing which runs from the hearing aid to the ear canal with a dome attached at the end.

Image courtesy Unitron, Siemens, Phonak


Advantages:

  • Does not plug up the ear canal which makes the amplified sound more natural

  • Less conspicuous and more comfortable

  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses (mild-to moderate)

  • Able to fit more features such as volume control, directional microphones, program button and telecoil

  • Longer battery life, typically


Disadvantages:

  • Thin tubing gets blocked up easily with wax. This is removed by running a thin wire through the tube – can be awkward to clean.

  • If manual dexterity is limited, it may be difficult to put in the ear

  • Telephone use can be awkward with certain hearing losses

  • May interfere with the arms of glasses

  • Potential issues with wind noise blowing against the hearing aid microphones




Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids


The BTE aid consists of the device which sits behind the ear and a custom earmould, which sits inside the ear.

Image courtesy Unitron, Siemens, Oticon


Advantages:

  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses (mild-to-profound)

  • Able to fit more features such as volume control, directional microphones, program button and telecoil.

  • Easier to clean and maintain

  • Longer battery life


Disadvantages:

  • Quite visible compared with other hearing aid styles

  • Tubing in the mould would need to be replaced every 6-12 months

  • If manual dexterity is limited, it may be difficult to put in the ear

  • Can be awkward to use with telephone

  • May interfere with the arms of glasses

  • Potential issues with wind noise blowing against the hearing aid microphones


 

Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids


The CIC aid is custom made to the shape of the ear canal and sits completely in the ear canal making it less visible.

Image courtesy Unitron, Widex, Siemens


Advantages:

  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses (from mild to severe)

  • Comfortable

  • Cosmetically appealing

  • Ease of use with the telephone

  • Generally have good retention in the ear

  • Allows the natural resonances from the outer ear and enhances localisation.


Disadvantages:

  • Small battery size (in most cases)

  • Ear wax can plug the receiver

  • May notice own voice sounding loud and/or echoey

  • Potential issues with wind noise blowing against the hearing aid microphones



Invisible in the canal (IIC) hearing aids


The IIC aid is custom made to the innermost portion of the ear canal and sits deep inside the ear canal. It is the least visible compared with all other hearing aid styles.

Image courtesy Unitron, Widex


Advantages:

  • Virtually invisible and therefore cosmetically appealing

  • Ease of use with the telephone

  • Allows the natural resonances from the outer ear and enhances localisation

  • Good retention

  • Less interference with wind noise


Disadvantages:

  • IIC aids are not suitable for everyone. Given the limitation in size, it cannot be for all ear canals. It is dependent on the shape, size and health of the ears. 

  • Can cause discomfort

  • Limited to mild or moderate hearing losses

  • Small battery size

  • Ear wax can plug the receiver



In the Canal (ITC) hearing aids


The ITC aid is custom made to the shape of the ear and is housed in the entrance of the ear canal. The In-The-Ear (ITE) is larger and fills the outer ear.

Image courtesy Unitron, Widex


Advantages:

  • Fits a wide range of hearing losses (mild-to-severe)

  • Comfortable

  • Larger battery, longer battery life

  • Can have more features such as volume control, directional microphones and program button.


Disadvantages:

  • Can be bulky making it more visible

  • Ear wax can plug the receiver

  • May notice own voice sounding loud and/or echoey

  • Potential issues with wind noise blowing against the hearing aid microphones




Our Location

550 Swanston Street, 
Carlton   VIC     3053



Phone:  (03) 9035 5333
Fax:      (03) 9347 1535
ABN:     13 114 419 171