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Understanding Different Hearing Aid Styles
There is an array of different hearing aid styles on the market today. It’s important to take a comprehensive look at your options and understand precisely what to expect from each of the different instruments.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids
Behind-the-ear hearing aids – known as BTE hearing aids – are a traditional type of device that many older people will recognize as being standard many years ago. In these devices, a case that rests behind the ear is home to the hearing technology, and a small, clear plastic tub leads to a molded earbud, fit perfectly for your ear. Your audiologist may recommend BTE aids if you have mild-to-profound hearing problems.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids are almost invisible when worn. These tiny devices are comfortable in the ear and your audiologist may recommend one if you have mild-to-moderate hearing loss. RIC aids work by using a set of thin, electrical wires linking to a receiver inside the ear canal.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids sit in the outer part your ear. Because of their ability to amplify noise so well, they are usable by people with hearing problems across the board. ITE hearing aids are still moderately discrete and can be selected in skin tone colors to better blend.
In-the-canal (ITC) are custom built to fit in your ear and are also slightly smaller than ITE devices. Again, they are suitable for a range of hearing loss and can be a better option for those with a moderately severe hearing loss that also feel that ITE aids are too bulky.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are custom built to fit deep into your ear canal, so they are almost invisible to the eye. You have to look very closely to see the small, plastic handle that is there to put in and take out the device. CIC hearing aids are usually best for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids
Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids are also for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. This type of hearing aid style is custom-built based on the shape of your ear canal and actually sits further in than any other style. Because of the depth of IIC hearing aids, it is vital to pay a lot of care and attention to hygiene and daily removal to ensure good ear health.
As you can see, there are plenty of different hearing aid styles available. However, keep in mind that some devices may not be suitable for you, depending on the severity of your hearing loss. It’s also important to remember that hearing aids for people with severe hearing loss tend to be more visible. Discuss your concerns with your audiologist and you should be able to get the perfect hearing aid for your circumstances.