Hearing Aid Technology

The type of hearing aid device best suited to your needs will greatly depend on the nature and extent of your hearing loss and the size and shape of the outer ear and canal. Some conditions (i.e. ear drainage) may prevent a person from wearing hearing aids that block the ear or canal.

A few other factors to keep in mind as you choose your hearing aid, regardless of who dispenses it to you:

  • Aesthetic considerations play a large role for some wearers, who may prefer wearing nearly invisible aids.
  • Some people prefer a hearing aid that is visible but blends with their skin tone.
  • Small hearing aids (ITCs or CICs) also have tiny batteries and those with limited dexterity or sight problems may find these difficult to operate.
  • Check with your health insurance provider to find out if your plan offers assistance for purchasing a hearing aid.
  • In case of future problems, where can your new hearing aid be repaired? And will you be able to get a loaner while your hearing aid is being serviced?
  • Assistive listening devices are compatible with certain aids, so it is best to determine what functions will be needed to ensure that the aid has the capabilities that will suit the user both now and in the future.
  • It is a good idea to carefully examine the hearing aid’s warranty, both as it applies to the device and battery life. Will the manufacturer provide a temporary replacement if your new hearing aid requires repairs? All digital hearing aids dispensed at the Ohio Hearing Institute include a 2-year comprehensive warranty.
  • Check what kind and length of a trial period is offered. The Ohio Hearing Institute offers a 45-day trial period to make sure you are satisfied with the hearing aid.
Entry Level Digital
  • Most communication is in quiet settings
  • Fewer types of listening situations (interacting with friends, family or quieter, leisure activities like gardening)
  • One memory/program
  • Basic noise cancellation
Advanced Digital
  • More demanding lifestyle
  • Several, varied listening situations on a regular basis (small gatherings, church/synagogue, business meetings)
  • Circuitry flexible enough for fluctuating hearing losses
  • Directional microphone(s) to help with noise in the environment
  • Digital feedback suppression (controls annoying whistling)
  • Multiple memories/programs
  • Open fitting may be an option with mini BTE
Premium Digital
  • Most advanced digital signal processing available
  • Circuitry can actively “read” the environment and make changes to help understand speech
  • Adaptive directionality with two microphones to help with moving noises (restaurants, classrooms, outdoor cafes)
  • Fast-acting noise reduction
  • Digital feedback suppression
  • Echo-blocking to help with reverberation (e.g. large auditoriums, warehouses)
  • Records and stores listening situations for more customized programs
  • Multiple memories/programs
  • Open fitting may be an option with mini BTE