There are a large number of hearing aids from a wide variety of manufacturers with a variety of styles and technologies.
This is, in many ways of benefit because it allows for more choice, however it can also make it more confusing for the hearing aid consumer/patient.
Part of my role is to help you make an informed choice about which hearing aid/s will best suit your needs.
Hearing Aid Technology
Adjustability: To explain this concept it is best to think of a piano keyboard, some hearing aids allow the audiologist to adjust the level of each key quite specifically, these would be highly adjustable.
Other hearing aids allow less precise adjustments linking many keys together and adjusting them as a group, these hearing aids would be less adjustable. There are a range of other more technical features which can be adjusted as well.
Automaticity: Some hearing aids can listen to the environment a user is in and decide (based on a computer algorithm) how best to adjust their settings, these hearing aids are highly automatic. Other hearing aids do not change their settings a great deal or even at all and require the wearer to adjust the volume or change the settings him or herself.
Anti-Noise/Directional features: One of the hardest tasks for hearing impaired people is listening to a voice in a noisy environment (like hearing a friend in a restaurant). Some hearing aids have very little in the way of noise reduction technology. Other hearing aids might have microphones which are more sensitive to sounds from the front of the listener. Other aids still will have microphones which shift their focus in an attempt to avoid the dominant noise source in the room.
Connectivity: Some hearing aids are able to link to mobile phones wirelessly through a device worn around the neck or in the pocket of the wearer. Some hearing aids can communicate with the hearing aid on the opposite ear to co-ordinate their function. Some aids have telecoils for connecting wirelessly to conventional phones or to telecoil or loop systems sometime installed in theatres/churches /halls/etc. Other aids have little or no technology for linking to other pieces of technology.