Extraordinary technological breakthroughs in hearing instrument design have pushed the world into the contemporary era of digital hearing devices. Research on these instruments has been going on since the 1960s. By 1969, the world’s very first fully digital hearing was introduced into the commercial market. This was soon followed by a myriad of hearing aids of different shapes, sizes and amplification. Many hearing aids in the world today are now digital. 

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) admits that hearing aid fitting procedures can be complex. To obtain the highest level of success, your audiologists must follow well-defined procedures in the context of rehabilitation.

How Hearing Aids Work

While hearing aids come in different varieties, they all carry the same fundamental components that allow them to transmit sound from the environment into your ear. Digital hearing aids are powered by batteries that are rechargeable. 

An embedded microphone collects sound waves from the environment, which are amplified and converted into digital codes. Based on your hearing loss condition, a computer chip analyzes the signals and adjusts them to suit your hearing needs. Amplified signals are re-converted into audible sound waves and fed into your ear through speakers.

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing aids differ in style based on their unique features and how they are fitted into the wearer’s ear. Manufacturers build more diminutive and less visible hearing aids to meet the different needs of consumers. Although the miniaturization of hearing aids is becoming common by the day, tinier hearing devices may not offer you improvements compared to the sizable ones. The most common hearing aid styles are:

  • In the ear (ITE): ITE hearing aids are available in two different formats – there is one that entirely fits the bowl-shaped portion of your external ear, and there is another style that fills only the lower section of your outer ear. These two versions are both used for improving severe and mild hearing loss conditions. Those with bidirectional microphones are much better.
  • Behind the ear (BTE): You can hook a BTE hearing device over the top of your ear and rest it behind. A tube links a BTE hearing device to an earpiece known as ear mold; this fits in the wearer’s canal. BTEs are suitable for people of different age groups, and they can improve various kinds of hearing loss conditions. 
  • In the canal (ITC): An ITC aid is specially designed to fit in your ear canal. This type of hearing aid improves hearing loss conditions that are mild and moderate in adults.

What happens during a hearing aid fitting?

Under normal circumstances, hearing loss patients often wonder what it feels like to go through a hearing fitting process with an audiologist. Depending on the nature of your condition, you can expect many things when you book your first appointment with an audiologist. 

You will be taken through a hearing aid examination, after which your audiologist will prescribe the best hearing aid for your condition. After fitting it into your ear, you will also be advised on using the device and maintaining it properly.