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Your ENT and Hearing Care Specialists

Hearing Aid Styles to Consider

Hearing Aid Selection

When it comes to selecting the right hearing aid, there are a number of factors to consider, including hearing loss needs, desired features and styles. Hearing aids are available in a number of different styles to meet the needs of every individual, but can be broken down into three main categories.

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC devices offer the highest level of privacy in terms of all the hearing aid styles. These hearing aids can come in completely-in-canal styles to invisible-in-canal varieties. ITC hearing aids are ideal for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, however, because of their small size are not recommended for individuals with dexterity issues. Additionally, because of their miniaturization and location in the ear canal, they require cleaning to ensure microphones and ports do not become clogged with wax.

In-the-ear (ITE) devices

ITE hearing aids are the next level of discreet when it comes to hearing aid types. They are worn in the ear in the outer bowl portion and can cover it completely (full shell) or partially (half shell). These hearing aids offer the privacy similar to ITC devices, but are slightly larger and easier to handle for individuals with physical manipulation issues. They can be worn by people with mild-to-moderately-severe hearing loss and offer some additional features their smaller counterparts cannot.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE devices are the largest of the hearing aid styles, but offer a variety of sizing and color customization to make them more discreet. BTE hearing aids are generally worn with a piece in the ear to transmit sound, while a tube or wire connects to the body of the hearing aid worn behind the ear. These hearing aids are recommended for individuals with mild-to-severe hearing loss and are easily handled. Due to their size, these hearing aids can also be equipped with several features making them easy to customize to a person’s specific wants and needs.

Talk to your audiologist

When it comes time to choose the right style of hearing aid for your particular needs, discuss with your audiologist the severity of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, aesthetic, technology and budget preferences. Your audiologist will be able to recommend the most appropriate hearing aid for your needs and wants. They will also fit, program and tailor the hearing aid you select to your specific hearing loss and lifestyle needs.