Air Conduction Aids

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids

Behind-the-Ear hearing aids are worn behind the ear and are connected to an earmold that fits in the ear by a small piece of plastic tubing. Sound from the aid travels through the earmold into the ear.

 

The microphone is at the top of the hearing aid and the battery, amplifier and receiver are all inside the plastic case.

Advantages:

Behind The Ear Aids are suitable for any age and any degree of hearing loss.

Unobtrusive because of their small size and placement behind the ear.

The microphone is situated at ear level and so simulates natural sound reception.

Can be adjusted for different levels of hearing loss.

Disadvantages:

Earmolds that do not fit correctly or are damaged can result in a whistle (acoustic feedback) and so they need to be remade regularly to ensure a good fit.

In The Ear Hearing Aids

In The Ear hearing aids are so called because they fit completely in the outer ear. The case is made of hard plastic and contains all of the working parts of the aid.

Advantages:

Attractive because of their small size.

The microphone is situated at ear level and so simulates natural sound reception.

Disadvantages:

Not usually recommended for children due to problems keeping a good fit in a growing ear and also for safety reasons.

There is a higher chance of whistling (acoustic feedback) because of the closeness of the microphone and receiver.

The controls and battery compartment can be difficult due to the small size.

The aids are easily damaged by earwax and ear drainage.

In The Ear Hearing Aids

In The Canal Aids are similar to In The Ear Aids except that they are smaller and fit almost completely in the ear canal. A Completely In The Canal Aid is also available   which fits entirely in the ear canal.

Advantages:

Attractive because of their small size.

The microphone is situated at ear level and so simulates natural sound reception.

Disadvantages:

Not usually recommended for children due to problems keeping a good fit in a growing ear and also for safety reasons.

There is a higher chance of whistling (acoustic feedback) because of the closeness of the microphone and receiver.

The controls and battery compartment can be difficult due to the small size.

The aids are easily damaged by earwax and ear drainage.

Body Worn Hearing Aids

Body Worn Aids are attached to a belt or a pocket or may be worn in a harness on the chest. The microphone is located on the top, front or side of the aid and a lead connects the aid to a receiver which is attached to an earmold or to a vibrator.

Advantages:

May be used in cases where powerful amplification is required and especially when a good acoustic seal is needed and whistling (acoustic feedback) is a problem.

Is useful when there is difficulty keeping a hearing aid on the head or where there is difficulty with small controls because of reduced dexterity.

Disadvantages:

The microphone is not at ear level so does not provide natural sound reception.

There can be problems with noise if worn under clothing due to rubbing against the microphone.

If a body aid is worn on the chest it is vulnerable to damage by food or liquid   spillages.

Less attractive and cumbersome due to size and lead(s).