What Style of Hearing Aid Is Right for Me?

Hearing aids come in all shapes and colors. Determining which style is best for you depends on several factors. The amount of hearing loss and the shape of the hearing loss play a role in what hearing aid style is recommended.  

Receiver-In-The-Canal (RIC) hearing aids were designed for people who have normal hearing in the low frequencies and then sloping hearing loss to loss in the high frequencies. This style of hearing aid can leave your ear more open, allowing you to use the good hearing that you have, and making sound more natural. Because the speaker (receiver) of the hearing aid is in your ear canal, the sound is higher fidelity.  This style of hearing aid is discreet and comfortable to wear. This hearing aid can be fitted with an earmold if amplification is needed in the low frequencies. The downside to this style of hearing aid is that it is more susceptible to wax, as the speaker is inside the ear canal.  Today’s RIC hearing aids can be rechargeable…or not! 

Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids have been around for many, many years. They are appropriate for all types and degrees of hearing loss. They can be fitted with earmolds to give more power, or with thin tubes and domes if the ear canal needs to be left open. They are relatively easy to insert and remove. This style can be easier to maintain if you produce a great deal of earwax. Today’s BTE hearing aids come in all sizes and can be rechargeable…or not! 

Custom hearing aids come in many sizes: Full shell In-The-Ear (ITE), In-The-Canal (ITC), Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC), and Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC). In each of these styles, all of the hearing aid components are in the ear, and nothing is outside or behind the ear and these hearing aids can be more occluding because of this. If you have hearing loss in all frequencies, then you may find the occlusion perfectly acceptable. If you have normal hearing in the low frequencies, you will likely find an open fit more natural sounding. These hearing aids are also more susceptible to ear wax issues. There are a few manufactures making rechargeable ITE and ITC hearing aids, but keep in mind that the battery size and placement in these hearing aids makes them larger than those with changeable batteries. 

Call Gardner Audiology today to schedule an appointment in one of our 10 locations in Tampa Bay, Florida. We will screen your hearing and discuss the best options for your hearing and lifestyle! 1-800-277-1182, Text 813-265-2255. 

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