Types of Hearing Aids

Older woman getting fitted for a hearing aid

When it’s time for hearing aids, you want to choose the ones that best fit your lifestyle. There a range of suitable styles to meet both your hearing and cosmetic needs. Different hearing device styles include: completely in the canal, in the canal, in the ear, behind the ear, receiver in canal/the ear, and open fit. While hearing aids can be adjusted to meet your unique hearing needs, the primary difference between the aforementioned styles is where they are placed within the ear and how visible they are.

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are virtually undetectable because they are molded to your ear canal and then placed in the canal. This placement cuts down on wind noise. They are a great option for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, though you must consider that earwax can clog the speaker. They are the smallest hear aids, which means changing the batteries can be difficult.

In the Canal (ITC)

These hearing devices fit partially in the ear canal. Though they are small, they offer all the capabilities of much larger hearing aids. So, if you are looking for more features, this is a better option than CIC hearing aids.

In the Ear (ITE)

Hearing aid wearers can choose from half shell or full shell in-the-ear hearing devices. The full shell style fits the bowl-shaped part of your ear, while the half shell fits the lower part of the bowl-shaped area. They both fit nicely into the external ear and are easily adjusted for individuals with all ranges of hearing loss. They aren’t as small as some hearing aids, but this allows them to have features like volume control; they’re also easier to handle. However, the speakers may plug with wax and wind may affect sound quality.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

Behind-the-ear hearing aids are a great option for nearly all ranges of hearing loss. An earpiece molds to your outer ear and a tube hooks around the front of the ear to a piece that fits in the canal. If you want a discreet option, this might be the style for you, but consider that they are larger than other hearing aids.

Receiver In the Canal (RIC)

Like BTE hearing aids, receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids allow the ear to stay open. The difference is that rather than a tube connecting the pieces, it’s a wire. There is no sensation of having the ear plugged. These are discreet as well.

Open Fit

Open-fit hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids. They are visible, but they keep the canal open. This allows sounds to naturally enter and be heard without the assistance of the hearing aid. Because of this, open-fit hearing aids are designed for individuals who are able to hear low frequencies better than high frequencies.

Depending on your needs and the style chosen, you can add additional features, like noise reduction, volume controls, directional microphones, synchronization, rechargeable batteries, and wireless connectivity. To learn more about your hearing aid options visit us here.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.