On top of the six main types of hearing aids, there is one other type that has a different functionality. They are called CROS hearing aids, which stands for “Contralateral Routing of Signal”. They are meant for people who have severe hearing loss, including deafness, in only one ear, but whose other ear does not have hearing loss.
CROS hearing aids help you with directional hearing after you lose hearing in one ear. Two ears without hearing loss can pick up sounds from either side of you. That helps you pinpoint the direction that a sound is coming from. It also helps you hear better in a full 360-degree radius around you. When you lose hearing in one ear, you are less able to orient a sound or hear as clearly.
You wear a CROS hearing aid in the ear that is deaf, and it connects to a hearing aid in your other ear. It picks up sound from that side of your body, and routes it using a wireless signal to the other hearing aid. This helps you still hear in more of a 360-degree radius, but also processes it in a way to help you determine the direction.
The reason why CROS hearing aids are treated separately from the six main types is that they can come in both BTE and ITE hearing aid types. This means you can pick a CROS hearing aid in the style and functionality that suits your needs the most.
BiCROS Hearing Aids
People who have severe hearing loss, or deafness, in one ear and minor hearing loss in the other can use BiCROS hearing aids. As with CROS hearing aids, the microphone in your ear with profound hearing loss picks up sound and sends it to the hearing aid in the other ear. Also as with CROS hearing aids, you can get them in both BTE and ITE hearing aid styles.
Since your other ear also has hearing loss, it has its own microphone and sound processor in order to amplify sound from the side of your other ear. Both hearing aids are received, processed and amplified separately so you hear them together in a more natural manner.