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Understanding Types of Hearing Aids

Understanding Types of Hearing Aids

Times have definitely changed, and you have a choice now as to which type and style of hearing aid you prefer. To find the best hearing aid type for you, work with your audiologist and consider your lifestyle, budget, hearing loss and dexterity needs.

Once you have an idea of the type of device you’re looking for, take a moment to learn more about the different styles available, including:

Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids

This type of hearing aid must be custom-fitted to your ear canal specifically and is placed further inside, which makes it one of the most discreet devices available. They are ideal for individuals with mild hearing loss and minimal dexterity issues, due to their size.

In-the-canal (ITC) devices

This type of hearing aid is custom-made to fit snugly inside your ear canal, with a smaller piece of the device showing on the outside of your ear canal. Similar to IIC devices, ITC hearing aids are recommended for individuals with mild hearing loss and few dexterity issues, who are seeking a discreet option.

Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids

CIC devices fit completely in the ear canal and only the small, plastic handle-like piece can be seen (barely). This handle is used to help with insertion and remove of the hearing aid. CIC hearing aids are recommended for individuals with mild hearing loss and the physical ability to handle smaller technology.

Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids

RIC devices include a speaker and a receiver. The speaker is generally worn near your eardrum, while the receiver may sit behind your ear. This device offers you more power than traditional canal hearing aids, but still a high level of privacy. Additionally, the connecting components used in this hearing aid reduce the distortion that may be noticed with other styles. RIC hearing aids are recommended for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

In-the-ear (ITE) devices

ITE hearing aids are similar to devices worn in the canal, but are a bit larger and offer more power because of their size. These hearing aids are suitable for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and still provide the discreetness of devices worn in the ear.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE hearing aid technology is located within a casing that rests behind the ear. Sound is amplified into a connected ear bud and may include a custom earmold depending on your needs. BTE hearing aids are larger in size; however, they offer more power and are easier to handle for individuals with dexterity issues. These devices are ideal for individuals with mild-to-severe hearing loss.

Knowing what your options are when it comes to selecting hearing aids is important to finding the right device. Speak with your audiologist to figure out which type and style would be best suited for your needs.