Hearing Aids

While hearing aids can't restore normal hearing, they can dramatically improve it by amplifying soft sounds.

Hearing loss is an unfortunate consequence of age. Over time, aging and exposure to loud noise cause damage to the inner ear, diminishing our ability to hear the world around us. This issue can be truly frustrating, and many people undergoing hearing loss tend to feel hopeless. Thankfully, solutions like hearing aids can provide fast and convenient relief from this issue. While hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing, they can dramatically improve it by amplifying soft sounds. When it comes to finding the right hearing aids for you, having a dedicated team of otolaryngologists is essential. At Marlowe & Marrs, our Hearing Center is equipped with the right technology and the dedicated staff you need to find the best hearing aids to fit your requirements.


How Do Hearing Aids Work?

Hearing aids perform the function of amplifying sounds, helping you hear what you have trouble hearing. These convenient devices all use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital and powered by a special battery. Complete with small microphones, they collect sounds from the environment and transmit them to a computer chip. Afterward, the chip converts the incoming sounds into a digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sounds based on your hearing loss, listening needs, and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers.

Different Styles of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in varying styles, and in-ear or out-of-ear designs are just the start of your choices. Hearing aids greatly differ in price, size, special features, and even the way they’re placed in your ear. The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. 

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) Hearing Aid

This style is molded to fit inside your ear canal and is designed to improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. This device:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type.
  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise.
  • Uses very small batteries, which have a shorter life and can be difficult to handle.
  • Doesn’t contain extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone.
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
Doctor inspecting a woman's ear

In-the-canal (ITC) Hearing Aid

This device is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. The ITC’s style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. This device:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles.
  • Includes features that won’t fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but may be difficult to adjust due to its small size.
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.

In-the-ear (ITE) Hearing Aid

This device is custom made in two styles — the first style fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and the second fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss. An in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Includes features that don’t fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control.
  • May be easier to handle.
  • Uses a larger battery for longer battery life.
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.
  • May pick up more wind noise than smaller devices.
  • Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices.
Woman wearing a hearing aid

Behind-the-ear (BTE) Hearing Aid

This style hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss. A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible.
  • Is capable of more amplification than other styles.
  • May pick up more wind noise than other styles.

Receiver-in-canal (RIC) & Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) 

These styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver in the canal or in the ear. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the pieces. A receiver-in-canal hearing aid:

  • Has a less visible behind-the-ear portion.
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker.

Open-fit Hearing Aid

This is a variation of the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube. This style keeps the ear canal very open, allowing for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and for high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. This makes the style a good choice for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. An open-fit hearing aid:

  • Is less visible.
  • Don’t plug the ear like the small in-the-canal hearing aids do, making your own voice sound better to you.
  • May be more difficult to handle and adjust due to small parts.

Hearing Aid Options

To find the right hearing aid option for you, you need a dedicated staff of professionals who specialize in ENT and hearing loss treatments. Marlowe & Marrs, MD can provide you with comprehensive tests to determine your degree of hearing loss and provide you with the exact hearing aid style to fit your needs.

Find Hearing Aids In Sarasota, Florida

If you are struggling with progressive hearing loss, we’re here to help. At Marlowe & Marrs, we’re dedicated to your health and well being. Request an appointment today to discuss the right hearing aids to fit your needs by selecting and filling out the appropriate form below or dialing (941) 303-8590. Improved hearing is a simple consultation away.

Concerns treated by Hearing Aids

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Request an appointment at Marlowe & Marrs today by calling (941) 303-8590 or filling out the form below.

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