Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Best outcomes with hearing aids are not dependent on the brand of hearing aid but the style and shape of the hearing aid is very important. The hearing health professional you choose should should help you make the correct choice. What a hearing aid looks like is often an important factor when patients are considering their options. This post will cover the different styles of hearing aids.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE): this style of hearing aid features a piece behind the ear, with a tube running down the ear, and has a dome or custom earmold that goes into the ear. In this style, all the components of the hearing aid are housed behind the ear. This is a common style for very powerful hearing aids. It is a common choice for children and adults who suffer very severe hearing losses.
Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC): this style of hearing aid features a small piece behind the ear, with a thin wire with a micro speaker attached that runs down into the ear canal. Different from the BTE, the speaker of a RIC hearing aid actually sits in the patient’s ear canal, giving a clearer, crisper sound quality and is a more discreet option. This style is also referred to as a RITE (receiver in the ear). This is the most popular style of hearing aids because it accomplishes super sound quality and has the ability to be nearly invisible depending on hair style.
In-the-Ear (ITE): this style of hearing aid does not have a piece behind the ear. It sits in the canal and fills up the outer portion of the ear. It is custom made using an impression the audiologist takes of the ear.
In-the-Canal (ITC): this style of hearing is similar to an ITE, but does not extend out as far and are slightly more discreet, although still visible.
Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC): this style of hearing aid is significantly smaller than the ITE and is an option for patients with cosmetic concerns. They do have some limitations in terms of sound quality and durability.
Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC): this style of hearing aid is the most ‘invisible’ option and sits very deep within the ear canal. Candidacy depends on the patient’s canal shape and size. It requires a deep impression of the ear canal that is used to model the finished hearing aid. These hearing aids are for the most part amplifying earplugs. they solve some cosmetic concerns but often at the cost of sound quality and increased repair and maintenance.
For more answers call Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org