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Learn About Hearing Aids
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Hearing loss is an extremely individual experience. Just like your fingerprint is unique to you, your hearing loss is unique to only you. This means you need a hearing aid solution that is specifically for you. Our experience and training enables us to help address your individual needs. Our evidence-based, personalized hearing aid fittings will ensure you and your loved ones receive the highest standard of care for years to come. If hearing aids are the best treatment option for your hearing loss then our team of experienced hearing healthcare experts will work closely with you to find the perfect hearing aid solution and treatment plan.

Pursing treatment with hearing aids at our clinic will ensure that you are receiving the best audiology care available today (according to current best practice protocols). Unfortunately current industry research estimates that between 60-70% of hearing aids are not fit properly – this means that 60-70% of people with hearing aids are wearing the incorrect prescription and receiving limited benefit. You can rest assured knowing that if you purchase hearing aids from our clinic – your hearing aids will be fit as precisely as possible using the most sophisticated clinical equipment available. In all honesty, the hearing healthcare provider you see is far more important than the hearing aid you choose.

When it comes to choosing a hearing aid solution, there are two main decisions to make – the style and the level of technology.

Hearing Aid Styles
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The style of the hearing aid is chosen and prescribed based on your:

  • Hearing loss
  • Anatomical/medical considerations (e.g. ear shape/size)
  • Manual dexterity
  • Vision abilities
  • Lifestyle
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Cosmetics

The style usually does not change the price of the hearing aid. Hearing aids typically are grouped into two categories: In-The-Ear and Behind-The-Ear.

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Invisible in the Canal (IIC)

For mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the IIC is the ultimate in discretion. The entire hearing aid fits deep in the ear canal making it completely invisible in most ears.

  • Pros
    • discrete
    • uses natural resonances of outer ear for directionality
  • Cons
    • requires good dexterity (e.g. would be difficult for people with arthritis)
    • small battery/short battery life
    • requires a fairly large ear canal to accommodate hearing aid
CIC
Completely in the Canal (CIC)

For mild to moderately-severe hearing loss, the CIC is slightly larger than the IIC, making it virtually undetectable.

  • Pros
    • virtually undetectable
    • fits more ear canals than the IIC
    • uses natural resonances of outer ear for directionality
  • Cons
    • requires good dexterity (e.g. would be difficult for people with arthritis)
    • small battery/short battery life
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In the Canal (ITC)

For mild to moderately-severe hearing loss, this hearing aid fills more of the concha (i.e. the bowl of your ear).

  • Pros
    • larger battery/longer battery life
    • easier to insert than IIC/CIC
    • volume control or program switch available
    • directional microphones
  • Cons
    • requires better dexterity compared to larger hearing aids
    • more visible than smaller custom hearing aids
ITE
In the Ear (ITE) or Full Shell

For mild to severe hearing loss, this hearing aid fills the entire concha (i.e. the bowl of your ear).

  • Pros
    • larger battery/longer battery life
    • most secure custom hearing aid
    • easiest of all hearing aid styles to insert and manipulate
    • volume control or program switch available
    • directional microphones
  • Cons
    • more prone to wind noise than smaller custom hearing aids
    • less discrete than smaller custom hearing aids
Behind-the-Ear Styles
Behind-the-Ear styles are biomedical devices that are located behind or on top of the outer ear (pinna), with a tubing or wire that routes the sound into an ear piece in the ear canal. The ear piece may be custom molded from an impression/cast of your ear (i.e. an earmold) or it might be a more universal ear tip (i.e. dome). BTE hearing aids come in various colours for different skin tones, hair colours, and preferences. BTE styles also range in size.
BTE
Behind the Ear (BTE)

For mild to profound hearing loss, this hearing aid suits all hearing losses and sits behind the ear delivering sound through a tube attached to an earmold in the ear.

  • Pros
    • most resilient style of hearing aid
    • highest water resistance
    • larger battery/longer battery life
    • fits ALL severities of hearing loss
    • easy to use buttons/dials
    • excellent for people who have a lot of earwax or for people with “goopy” ears (e.g. people with chronic ear infections, perforated tympanic membrane, etc.)
  • Cons
    • can be larger than other styles
    • earmolds need to be remade every few years to retain acoustic seal
    • earmolds will need to be re-tubed periodically
miniRITE
Receiver in the Ear/Canal (RITE/RIC)

Suitable for mild to profound hearing losses, this hearing aid suits almost everyone with hearing loss. This is the most popular hearing aid style fit today.

  • Pros
    • discrete design (the most discrete option for severe hearing losses)
    • fits a wide range of hearing losses
    • repairs can often be done in office (vs. at the manufacturer)
    • designed for the most common type of hearing loss (i.e. high frequency)
  • Cons
    • will be coupled to ear with either a dome or custom earmold
      • silicone domes/tips need to be changed monthly
      • earmolds need to be remade every few years to retain an acoustic seal
    • more prone to repair than BTEs
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