Types of Hearing Aids
In addition to comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluations, Cape Fear Otolaryngology Audiology department provides a full range of hearing aid services. We are proud to offer the most recent advances in hearing aid technology, as well as a wide variety of custom ear mold products. All of our audiologists have a doctorate in audiology and are licensed and certified to dispense hearing aids.
Three Important Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Hearing Aids
Q1: Are you an audiologist or a hearing aid dispenser?
Answer: Both types of professionals can evaluate your hearing and fit hearing aids, but their training varies significantly. Audiologists must have a doctoral or master’s degree, pass national and state exams, and have more than 1000 hours of clinical training before they graduate. Hearing Instruments Specialists generally have from 6 months to 2 years of supervised training or a two-year college degree and in some states must pass a licensing test. All of our providers that specialize in hearing aids are audiologists.
Q2: Do you offer a trial period?
Answer: Yes. We offer a seventy-five day trial period with several post-fitting check-ups during the 75-day period.
Q3: Is your office affiliated with an ear doctor?
Answer: Going to a medical practice allows for a thorough evaluation and having a physician’s evaluation can rule out medical conditions that might be affecting your hearing. At CFO, we have highly qualified Otolaryngologists that work closely with our audiologists to ensure a thorough evaluation.
Size and Style of Hearing Aids
There is technology today for every type of hearing loss and budget, with many sizes, styles, prices and colors available.
- Behind-The-Ear-Models (BTE)
- Miniature Behind-The-Ear (Mini-BTE)
- In-The-Ear Models (lTE)
- In-The-Canal (lTC)
- Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)
Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are the most flexible hearing aids available and cover the greatest range of hearing loss. Your Audiologist will make a custom ear mold of your ear canal which will then be attached to the hearing aid that wraps around the back of your ear.
Miniature Behind-The-Ear (Mini-BTE)
The Mini-BTE is a smaller more concealed version of the BTE. It has grown in its popularity due to its ability to go unnoticed in the ear canal. This device comes in a variety of shapes and colors. This type of device does not need to be custom made.
The In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom-made to fit in the outer part of your ear. There are no visible wires or tubes and they are very light in weight. This device is more suitable for those with dexterity issues.
The In-The-Canal (ITC) is less visible than the ITE style. This style is small and lightweight.
The Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) technology fits deep into the ear canal and is the least visible of all the hearing aid technology.
The CROS/BICROS system comes in a BTE style or ITE Style.
All custom molds are fitted by state-licensed audiologists. An exact impression of your ear is taken and sent to the manufacturer with your ordering specifications. Typical turn around time for these custom ear pieces will take 2-3 weeks. Custom earpieces can be designed for use with bud/button style stereo headphones such as today’s iPods and iPhone usage.
- Custom earpieces are a great choice for those with hard to fit ears and can offer a superior seal for particular anatomies
- Custom earpieces are made to order and offer virtually unlimited customization options
- 2-3 week turn around time for your custom earpiece
- Ear Molds come in a wide range of color options
If you are interested in a custom ear mold and would like to schedule a consultation with an audiologist, please contact our office today!