Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aids

Hearing loss can be detrimental to communicating with friends and family on a day-to-day basis. With today’s technology and innovations, there are many digital hearing aid options to help you regain your hearing and quickly get back to living a normal life. Read on to discover more about hearing aids and if they’re right for you. 

What is a Hearing Aid?

Hearing aids are small electronic devices to address different types of hearing loss. Digital hearing aids contain a microphone to pick up sound, a computer chip to amplify and process sound, and a speaker that sends the signal to your ear. At Sierra Nevada Hearing Center, we offer a wide selection of digital hearing aids. We will work with you to find the best solution for your hearing care needs within your budget. Learn more about today’s hearing aids from Dr. Heather L. Dean.


When Do You Need Hearing Aids?

If you’ve noticed that hearing difficulties are interfering with day-to-day communication with family and friends, it may be time to schedule a hearing aid test. Learn more about when it may be time to visit an audiologist at Sierra Nevada Hearing Aid Center.


Types of Hearing Aids

There are a variety of types of hearing aids that can help with different types of hearing loss or background noise concerns. Sierra Nevada Hearing Aid Center offers in-the-canal hearing aids, in-the-ear hearing aids, behind-the-ear hearing aids and receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids. Please note that the size or hearing aid style is independent of the type of circuitry that is inside the hearing aid. 

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are inserted deep into the ear canal for those who want “invisible” hearing aids. Advantages to CIC hearing aids include their discreet appearance and good sound quality because of the way they fit in the ear. Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are not typically the best choice to treat high-frequency hearing loss, severe hearing loss or poor speech understanding in noise. 

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fill the ear canal and may be more cosmetically pleasing than the full shell style. These hearing aids may be susceptible to moisture damage and can make wearers feel “plugged up”. At times, the size can be an issue for wireless devices. Many ITC hearing aid wearers enjoy their discreet look and long battery life.

Full shell in-the-ear
Full shell in-the-ear hearing aids are the largest of the custom fitted in-the-ear aids. ITE’s fill the bowl of the ear. They are the most versatile and powerful of all custom fitted hearing aids and are typically a good option for people with poor dexterity.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are housed in curved cases that fit neatly behind the ear. A custom earmold made to the shape of the ear delivers the sound into the ear canal. BTEs are the most versatile and powerful of all hearing aids, fitting the widest range of hearing losses. Typically, these hearing aids come with a rechargeable battery option and can wirelessly connect to phones. Some BTE wearers have issues with the speaker being susceptible to moisture and ear wax and that the microphone behind the ear is visible.

Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) hearing aids have gained popularity in recent years due to their small size and natural sound quality of the wearer's own voice. RIC style hearing aids sit snugly on top of the ear while a tiny wire sends the amplified sound down into the receiver (speaker) inside the ear canal.

Why Schedule a Hearing Aid Consultation

Selecting and understanding which hearing aid is right for you can be a challenge. Most patients come in wanting the smallest hearing aid available, although a small hearing aid may not be the best choice for their individual hearing loss. Many factors determine the style of hearing aid we might recommend, including the amount of hearing loss, the shape and size of your ears, listening needs, dexterity and potential health concerns. When it comes to hearing aids, there are multiple features and styles available to suit different hearing needs. It's important to consider several things when selecting the right style to meet your needs. 

We do not attempt to persuade our patients to purchase a particular size of hearing aid, but we do want you to make an informed and educated decision. That’s why we recommend scheduling a hearing aid consultation at one of our three locations to determine if hearing aids are right for you.

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Hearing Aid FAQs

How much do hearing aids cost?

The cost of hearing aids ranges depending on the type,  material, and technology. Hearing aids can range from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on what you select to meet your needs. There are many things to consider when purchasing hearing aids, all which factor into the cost. We can discuss these factors during your hearing aid consultation.

Does insurance cover hearing aids?

Most insurance providers do not cover the cost of hearing aids, but the Sierra Nevada Hearing Aid Center team can work with you to find hearing aids that fit your budget and your needs. If you have a benefit for hearing aids, we are happy to work with your insurance company as well as look into your eligibility for discount plans through third party providers. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about which hearing aids are best for you.