From the old ear pieces which were held by the hearing impaired to the ear to the now available very sophisticated digital hearing aids the journey of the hearing aid has been long and fruitful.
From being simple analog amplifiers the present day hearing aid is now a very sophisticated piece of machinery - it is digital as well as programmable which makes the voice quality as close to normal as possible.
Hearing Aids can be classified on the basis of their placement as below-
1. Body worn
These are the old fashioned hearing aids that one used to see in the elderly - an ear piece in the ear and a wire leading from it into a large hearing aid kept in the shirt pocket. In fact some of the older persons who were dependent on this device used to place these hearing aids in specially stitched pouches which they the hung around their neck! These are no longer in use.
2. Behind the ear
These form the largest number of hearing aids in use presently. They are small discrete devices that are placed behind the ear with a thin tube that emanates from it and enters the ear. These hearing aids can tackle hearing loss of any severity including severe deafness since the design of the hearing aid permits significant amplification.
3. In the Ear
These hearing aids enter the ear canal but remain at the entrance of it and are visible from close by.
4. Completely in Canal
For persons with a moderate hearing loss, a hearing aid can be fashioned and built and positioned entirely inside the ear canal. The hearing aid is custom made on a mold of the ear size and configuration.
Hearing aids can also be classified on the basis of their technology being either analog or digital. in the current scenario it makes sense to use only the digital hearing aid, specially one that is programmable.
It must be remembered that one must not delay the decision to start using a hearing aid for reasons of vanity, looks etc. The best time to start using a hearing aid is when you first think you need it.