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Managing hearing loss starts with a thorough hearing assessment followed by a hearing loss treatment plan. For many people, hearing aids are an important aspect of this treatment plan. They come in a variety of different styles as well as different levels of technology. Hearing aids are fit through a prescriptive method called real ear measurement, which customizes the aid specifically for your hearing loss and needs. No two hearing losses are alike, so hearing aids cannot be fit right ‘out of the box’. You also need time for your ears and your brain to adapt to using and listening through hearing aids and we will work with you to help you acclimatize to your hearing aids and manage your hearing loss throughout your lifespan.Booking Requests
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A medical referral is not required. Please contact our clinic directly for more information and to book an appointment. Hearing aids are not covered by MSP, but you may be eligible for third party funding (see FAQs for more information) or through your extended health plan if you have one.
Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are available in a variety of different styles and brands. We carry all major brands: Oticon, Phonak, Resound, Signia, Starkey, Unitron, Widex.
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids are the most popular and commonly fit hearing aid style. These small aids fit behind the ear with a thin wire leading to a dome or custom tip in the ear canal. They are more discreet and lighter in weight compared to standard behind-the-ear hearing aids. They are appropriate for most hearing losses. Available as a rechargeable with Bluetooth compatibility.
These hearing aids fit behind the ear and are connected to a custom earmold or dome through a standard or slim tube. These aids can fit any degree of hearing loss from mild to profound and are the most versatile. They are durable and easier to manage compared to other styles. Available in a rechargeable option and are Bluetooth compatible and their manual controls are often easier to manage.
Custom In-the-ear (ITE)
These aids fit inside the entire ‘bowl’ of your ear in your ear canal. These are smaller than behind-the-ear style hearing aids but are more visible as they do not hide behind the ear. These aids can be easier to manipulate and insert for individuals with dexterity issues. These aids are also available in a rechargeable option and can be Bluetooth compatible. Not suitable for all losses.
Custom In-the-canal (ITC)
These are smaller aids that fit in the lower part of the bowl of your ear and into the ear canal. Aesthetically they are smaller that in-the-ear (ITC) hearing aids. However, there are some limits to their noise reduction abilities due to the size of the aid and microphone placement. Due to its size, it has limited connectivity (e.g. Bluetooth) options and are not available in a rechargeable option. Not suitable for all losses.
Custom completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
These aids are even smaller than the in-the-canal (ITC) style. The faceplate of these aids fit just past the cartilage at the front of your ear (called the tragus) and into the ear canal. Due to the size of these aids there are limitations in noise reduction capabilities, they have limited or no connectivity features (such as Bluetooth). Not available as a rechargeable. Not suitable for all losses.
Custom invisible in-the-canal (IIC)
The smallest of all the styles, these aids fit deeper into the ear canal and are the least visible. Due to its very discreet size, there are limitations in its power and features. They are more difficult to insert and require more regular maintenance due to the deeper insertion of the aids. They do not come in a rechargeable option and will require more frequent battery changes.
Levels of Technology
There are a variety of hearing aid technology levels, each with specific features to manage communication in variable listening situations. As you move up in technology, more features are available, resulting in better speech and noise management. In general, the higher the technology level, the higher the cost of the hearing aid.
- Premium technology is designed for active listeners who participate in the widest variety of listening situations.
- Advanced technology has features that will help in most communication situations.
- Mid-range technology helps in moderate noise environments and small group settings.
- Basic technology is for individuals who spend all or almost all of their time in quiet settings with one or two conversation partners and have little need to connect with other systems like television and cell phones.
To determine the best technology for you, our audiologists will review your everyday listening needs and the nature and characteristics of your particular hearing loss. Your hearing loss is unique, so it’s important to find the technology that best suits your needs.