Hearing Aids

Which Hearing Aid Style is Most Popular?

Hearing aid styles have come a long way since the analog linear technologies of the 1980s and the automatic signal processing (ASP), digitally programmable technologies of the 1990s. Today, hearing ads are more advanced than ever, and it shows in the popularity of different hearing aid styles over the last 30 years. Here’s what to know about the history and popularity of hearing aid styles and what you can expect going forward.

The different styles of hearing aids have changed drastically since the introduction of the device in 1920. From the original analog aids of the 1980’s to the introduction of digitally programmable devices in the 1990’s, hearing aid styles have evolved in many ways. Today, hearing aids are more advanced than ever. Here’s what you need to know about the history and popularity of hearing aid styles before you decide to treat your hearing loss.

The 30 Year History of Hearing Aid Style Popularity

From 1991 to the mid-2000s, the in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) styles were most popular. In fact, custom ITE and ITC hearing aids made up about 80% of the US hearing aid market in 1991. CIC hearing aids have always been a favorite of patients who want the most “invisible” option, and the miniaturization of circuitry and zinc batteries made them more widely accessible. However, in 1996 the first digital signal processing hearing aids came onto the market. During this time, more than every 6 in 7 hearing aids sold in the United States were a variation of the ITE model.

Another technology that transformed the turn of the century hearing aid market was directional microphone technology. When this was implemented into behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, it changed the way hearing aids could improve people’s ability to understand speech in noise. Thus, the BTE became virtually the only option for people with severe hearing loss (who required more volume). However, in the early 2000s, reciever-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid technology emerged and transformed the market. RICs quickly grew in popularity due to their smaller size and more advanced features, and, as of 2020, they make up 79% of all US hearing aids sold. 

Looking Forward

It’s likely that RICs will continue to dominate the hearing aid market. However, there is still much demand for all of the other styles mentioned. One factor that could drastically change the hearing aid market is the implementation of over-the-counter devices, increasing the demand for RICs. There has been much discussion about whether or not the recent implementation of over-the-counter hearing devices will drastically change the market. Many audiologists believe this will not be the case, as hearing loss is not something that can be treated so simply. Individuals with hearing loss need to work closely with a Doctor of Audiology, to customize both their technology and treatment program to fit their needs. This is something that is not included with the purchase of an OTC device. It’s also likely there will continue to be a demand for custom ITE devices.

Schedule an Appointment

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we offer a wide variety of hearing aid styles and technologies that can match your lifestyle, technology demands, and comfort level. Combined with our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™, Dr. Rhee Nesson & her team can help you obtain a comprehensive look at your hearing system and establish a customized treatment program.  To learn more about our hearing aid selection and meet with our team for an appointment, contact our Livingston, NJ office by calling or filling out our online form.

To learn more about hearing loss and hearing aids, download our FREE Insider’s Guide on how to finally hear better.

Hearing Aids

6 Tips for New Hearing Aid Users

New hearing aids make a huge change in your hearing and lifestyle but at first they can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are a few things to help you adjust to your new hearing aids and make the most of them.

Be Patient

It is not uncommon for new hearing aid wearers to feel overwhelmed or distracted by the hearing aids themselves and the newly heightened hearing levels. Give yourself some time to get used to your new hearing aids and all the new sounds you are hearing. However, if after a few days you find you still aren’t getting used to them, reach out to your doctor of audiology to get them checked out.

Leave Them Be

You might be tempted to mess with the volume adjustment and amplification on your hearing aids but avoid changing these settings too much. Most hearing aids will automatically adjust to the volume levels of different environments. Other times, you may increase the amplification beyond the scope of the natural hearing range which is not good for everyday use. As you get used to your hearing aids, you will be more accurately able to determine whether the settings need to be changed and if so, ask your audiologist for help.

Avoid Loud Environments

When you first start to wear hearing aids, for the first day or two it is best to only wear them in quiet environments. Avoid large and noisy social spaces and slowly introduce your hearing aids to those social settings. The sudden volume change can be overwhelming, so it is best to ease into things.

Start Slowly

Similarly, you should start by wearing your hearing aids only a few hours a day so that you are not overwhelmed by the noise levels around you. There are many things you might not have heard for a while, such as the humming of your fridge, birds chirping, your phone ringing, etc. Your audiologist will help you develop a plan for how much time you should start with and how much you should increase that by each day.

Read Aloud

It’s not uncommon for people with hearing loss to speak at loud volumes and when you first start wearing hearing aids, you may find that your voice is distractingly loud. Reading aloud is a great way to regain your voice control and adjust to the effects of your hearing aids.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Properly caring for your hearing aids is important because it will give them a long lifespan. Regularly clean your hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth and use a pick to clear away earwax and other debris. You should also remove your hearing aids when you shower or swim since water can build up in them and impact their effectiveness. If your hearing aids need minor repairs, our team can help.

Sign Up for the H.E.A.R. Method™ Treatment Program

Everyone should have access to hearing aids and treatment for their hearing loss and that is the basis of our H.E.A.R. Method™ Treatment Program. At the Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we are dedicated to comprehensive and affordable care with real results. Our Doctors of Audiology will conduct a comprehensive hearing evaluation and then use those results to determine the best hearing aids that fit your needs and comfort level. Schedule an appointment today by calling our office or book your appointment here.

To learn more about hearing loss and hearing aids, download our FREE Insider’s Guide on how to finally hear better.

Local Services

Hearing Aid Services In Westfield, NJ

At only about 25 minutetes from Westfield, NJ, Hearing Doctors of New Jersey is available to the residents in the town. At our office, we offer a variety of hearing services including hearing assessments, hearing aids, hearing aid repairs and fittings, central auditory processing evaluation, and our proprietary H.E.A.R Method Treatment Program.

Adult Hearing Assessment

An adult hearing assessment is a comprehensive hearing evaluation used to determine what your overall health looks like, if you have a hearing impairment, and if you do have hearing loss, to what extent it is.

The assessment begins with learning your health history along with any other factors that might contribute to your hearing impairment. This can include medications you’re on, certain lifestyle choices, family history, or any injuries you may have experienced.

Next is the ear examination. It’s done by your Doctor of Audiology. They simply look at your ear for any obstructions or damage to the ear.

After that, is the hearing test which is completely pain-free and relatively easy. All you have to do is listen to the best of your ability.

Once your Doctor of Audiology has the results of your hearing assessment, they can better build a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Hearing Aids

Because there are so many different types of hearing aids, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. That’s where your Doctor of Audiology and our QuickSIN™ test come it. Together, they can determine the right hearing aid type for you.

During the test, you get to try on a variety of hearing aids so you find the best fit and level of hearing correction for your needs. Since hearing aids are an investment, you want to be sure you find the ones that are right for you.

Hearing aid technology has gotten more and more advanced over the years but most still consist of a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker, and they are either worn in the ear or behind the ear.

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we offer a variety of hearing aid styles and manufacturers so you can find the one that fits your exact hearing needs.  The manufacturers we offer include:

  • Starkey
  • Oticon
  • Widex
  • Phonak
  • ReSound

Hearing Aid Repairs & Fittings

If your hearing aids need repairs, we also offer that at Hearing Doctors of New Jersey as well. Whether you have a simple repair and we do it in the office or it’s a more substantial repair and you need help sending the hearing aid to the manufacturer, we can help you get your hearing aid repaired and back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

And if you need to be without your hearing aid for any length of time, we can help guide you through your day-to-day so you can still live your life while your hearing aid is being repaired.

Central Auditory Processing Evaluation

Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) is a condition where the brain and ears have trouble communicating with one another. It typically shows up in young children but can be difficult to diagnose because it has similar symptoms as ADHD and ADD.

Some of the symptoms include difficulty concentrating, trouble identifying the meaning of certain spoken words, issues remembering instructions, and speech and language difficulties.

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we work with speech-language pathologists, school resource officers, psychologists, and occupational therapists to offer the most comprehensive CAPD evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment available.

H.E.A.R. Method Treatment Program

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we have a proprietary treatment program called the H.E.A.R. Method Treatment Program. It was founded on our four principles: hearing goals, engagement, analytics, and real results.

We want to be sure we set realistic goals for your treatment, have an honest conversation with you and your family about your treatment plan, and analyze your test results so you get a customized treatment plan that fits your specific hearing needs and gets you the results you’re looking for.

About Westfield, NJ

Westfield, NJ is located in Union County and only a short drive from Manhattan. It has a population of just under 31,000 and most well-known for its downtown area, school system, and the short commute to those working in NYC. It’s also known as the home of Charles Addams, the creator of The Addams Family cartoon series.