Extended Wear Hearing Aids
These aids are devices that are nonsurgically placed in the ear canal by an audiologist. They are worn up to several months at a time without removal. The devices are made of soft material designed to fit the curves of the ear. They are worn continuously and then replaced with a new device. They are very useful for active individuals because their design protects against moisture and earwax, and they can be worn while exercising, showering, etc.
The majority of hearing aids sold today are canal hearing aids and in-the-ear hearing aids. The behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is the most commonly recommended aid for infants and young children (see below for explanation); however, many adults now wear the open fit style of BTE.
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. A relatively new innovation is the osseointegrated hearing aid (bone anchored), which is implanted in the skull. This device has three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a detachable sound processor.