For many patients, the style of their hearing aid is just as important as the technology. After all, the best features in the world won’t matter if the instrument isn’t comfortable, is too visible, or doesn’t match up with their lifestyle. We’ll work closely with you to assure that you are fitted with a device that is perfectly suited for your needs.
All hearing aids are designed for the same purpose: to amplify sounds so that those with hearing loss can hear more clearly. While their function may be the same, their design varies widely. Hearing aids are available in a range of sizes and styles, and many include optional features like wireless connectivity to enhance the user experience. Choosing a hearing aid is an important decision, one that your audiologist can help you with depending on your cosmetic preference, degree of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, and other factors.
Hearing aid styles include:
Completely In The Canal (CIC). Small, custom molded device placed deep inside your ear canal for virtual invisibility. Reduced occlusion effect and feedback, requires less power to operate, battery life shorter than in other styles. For adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
In The Canal (ITC). Slightly larger than CIC, custom molded instrument placed in the ear canal, but not as deeply. Includes additional features unavailable with CIC, but persons with smaller ears may have trouble making these fit. For adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Invisible In The Canal (IIC). Similar to CIC but even smaller, custom molded unit placed deep in the ear canal. Invisible to others. Requires less amplification and delivers a more natural sound, but their small size and deep placement makes them susceptible to earwax, and their tiny size may be problematic for those with manual dexterity issues. For adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Receiver In The Ear (RITE). Custom molded device that fits inside the concha, the bowl-shaped portion of the outer ear. Visible to others and prone to feedback, but much easier to insert and remove. Larger batteries last longer and are easier to replace. Usually available with options like volume control and wireless connectivity. For adults with mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind The Ear (BTE). Larger and more visible than other hearing aids, these hook over the top of your ear and are placed behind it. Sounds are transmitted to a receiver in your ear canal. Durable, easy to use, and more powerful than other units. For adults and children with all types of hearing loss.
Open Fit. Similar to BTE but smaller and less visible, these transmit sounds through a thin tube or wire to a miniature speaker in the ear canal, which is left mostly unobstructed. Prone to feedback and low frequency noise leakage; batteries are smaller and less powerful. For adults with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.