Best Hearing Aids for Seniors

an older gentleman wearing a hearing aid

Some hearing aids that work better for people in different age categories. And there are a number of hearing aid options that work better for seniors. Hearing aid technology has made great strides in recent years, which means there are many options for everyone. 

When looking at hearing aid technology, it is important to understand how hearing aids work. This can help make the right decision when it comes to your options. 

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is usually a lightweight, small battery-operated electronic device. They are designed small enough to fit comfortably behind the ear or in the ear. They amplify the sounds around them so that the wearer can hear. 

Here is how they work:

  • A microphone picks up the sound around you
  • The amplifier makes the sounds louder
  • A receiver then sends these amplified sounds into the ear

Not everyone who has hearing loss will benefit from using a hearing aid. 

Hearing loss that is caused by nerve damage is the best candidate for hearing aids. This damage usually comes from:

  • Medication
  • Aging
  • Loud Noises
  • Damage caused by trauma

For seniors specifically, hearing loss occurs from the changes in the inner ear as we get older. Or, it can occur when complex changes happen in the nerve system in the middle ear. The tiny hairs we have in our ear canal can be damaged or die, and they don’t regrow - this can be a contributing factor in age-related hearing loss. 

It is important to discuss all of your options with your audiologist. They will be able to help you choose the right hearing aid for you. 

Types and styles of hearing aid

There is such a great range of hearing aids available that it pays to research all of your options. The hearing device that works for you will be influenced by the following:

  • Your age
  • How well you can handle small devices
  • The type of hearing loss you have
  • Your lifestyle

You will most likely hear the most about two types of hearing aids:

Analog hearing aids

Analog hearing aids are much more simple than digital hearing aids. They convert the sound waves and turn them into an electrical signal. They simply make them louder. They have basic and easy to use controls, so they are one of the best options for seniors. 

Digital hearing aids

These are an amazing piece of medical technology. They take the sound waves and turn them into something similar to computer codes. Then they make them louder. The code contains a wider amount of information than the analog hearing aid. It includes volume, pitch, and direction of the sounds too. Digital hearing aids are small but powerful, some will adjust automatically, and you can manually adjust them with ease too. 

Three main styles of hearing aids are as follows:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fits snugly into the outer ear. There will be a simple hard-plastic case that houses the electronics. These types of hearing aids work better for adults and seniors. 
  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids will be fitted into the ear canal and can barely be seen – if at all. The ITC hearing aid will only fit your unique ear canal. There is a smaller version of the ITC hearing aid, and this is even more hidden. These are best used with moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Due to their size, they can be slightly more difficult to adjust. 
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is in a hard-plastic casing. A plastic mold fits directly into the outer ear and will guide the sounds into the ear. There are also mini versions of the BTE hearing aid. They fit perfectly inside the ear; a narrow tube will go further into the ear. This style of hearing aid is ideal for helping prevent earwax build up. A BTE is fine to use for mild-to-severe hearing loss. 

Your audiologist will be able to look at the different options and make the right choice. 

Adjusting

There will be a very short adjustment period when you first begin to use your hearing aid. It is sometimes possible for you to have a trial with a hearing aid before committing to one long-term. Take time to get used to your hearing aid, and talk with your audiologist during the process. 

Learn more about Active Life Hearing by calling today at (561) 221-0450