woman putting in hearing aidOver the years, we can gradually experience age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis. According to the National Institute on Aging, this condition affects approximately one in three people between 65 and 74. Nearly 50 percent of individuals over 75 years old have trouble hearing.

While some people may be unwilling to admit they have hearing difficulties, it’s important not to ignore the issue. Hearing loss often worsens, unless treated or improved with hearing aids. If your doctor has recommended a hearing aid, consider these factors when deciding which one is best for you or a loved one.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Age-related hearing loss may be caused by a few different factors. It’s most commonly the result of changes that occur in the inner ear as we get older.

However, genes and exposure to loud sounds over time can also influence your hearing. If you have your headphones on the loudest level or work in construction, you may be at increased risk for hearing loss. These issues can also emerge due to heredity.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

You or a loved one may have age-related hearing loss if you:

  • Have trouble hearing people on the phone
  • Struggle to follow conversations with multiple people
  • Have difficulty hearing consonants
  • Often ask others to speak more slowly or loudly
  • Feel like other people have muffled speech
  • Have a hard time hearing high-pitched sounds

Hearing Aid Styles

While there are many different hearing aid styles, they come in two basic types: In-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE). Each hearing aid has its advantages and downsides.

ITE hearing aids are preferred by many people for their subtlety. They are almost invisible to others and fit well within the ear canal, which produces good sound. However, ITE aids tend to be more prone to moisture damage and are not usually programmable.

BTE hearing aids have powerful amplification, which makes them beneficial for all levels of hearing loss. Those suffering from severe hearing loss may choose BTE aids because they are typically rechargeable.

Another benefit is the ability to replace the speaker without having to buy a completely new hearing aid. On the flipside, BTE hearing aids are harder to hide and can sometimes leave the user feeling plugged up.


Your level of hearing may change based on your environment. Restaurants tend to be noisier and make it harder to hear, while a family dinner at home might not be as loud.

Digital hearing aids are very popular for their programmability, which means they can be adjusted to your personal hearing needs.

You may also want to consider hearing aids that are compatible with your smartphone. This can give you better control over the settings and may also have additional features like streaming calls or music right to your hearing aids!

Cost of Hearing Aids

The price of hearing aids can differ depending on the style, model and features. The more advanced the technology, the more expensive the hearing aid will be. For instance, a programmable ITE hearing aid will cost more than a basic BTE hearing aid.

If your hearing loss is not as severe, you may be able to purchase hearing aids with a lower performance level for a cheaper price. Before deciding what’s best for you, determine the features necessary to help you live an easier and overall better life.
At Avon Health Center, our medical staff offers consultative services in audiology. To learn more, contact us today.