Extended Wear Hearing Aids
Extended Wear Hearing aids are very small hearing aids that are non-surgically placed in the ear canal by an audiologist/ specialist. They are worn up to several months at a time without removal. The devices are made with a flexible plastic material designed to fit the curves of the ear canal. They are worn continuously and then discarded and replaced with a new device. They are very useful for active wealthy individuals because their sealed design protects against moisture and earwax, and they can be worn while exercising, showering, etc. They are worn CIC, Completely In The Canal. They are not re-usable. The battery is sealed within the housing and is not replaceable. Most in the ear hearing aids that are sold are removable and have removable batteries.
The majority of hearing aids sold today are the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. and are the most commonly recommended aid for infants and young children and many adults now wear the open fit style of BTE. Some people still choose to wear all-in-the-ear hearing aids, though the battery life is the shortest (due to the small size) and they are not as powerful as the BTE hearing aids. The are normally made from an ear impression and custom made inside a small shell. The CIC do not have volume controls, directional microphones or other controls, because of their small size.
There are also special hearing aids built to handle very specific types of hearing loss. For example, a bone conduction hearing aid uses a headband and a bone vibrator for individuals who have no ear canal or outer ear. These devices bypass the outer and middle ear and directly stimulate the cochlea (inner ear). A relatively new innovation is the osseo-integrated hearing aid (bone anchored), which is surgically implanted in the skull. This device has three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a detachable sound processor.