There are styles, levels of technology and manufacturers of hearing aids. They are all important when picking a hearing aid that best fits you and your lifestyle. In this post, we’re going to cover the different hearing aid styles—technology and manufacturers of hearing aids will come in a later post.
Behind-the-ear Hearing aids (BTE)
BTE Hearing aid fits behind the ear and a tubing connects the earmold to the hearing aid. The earmold gets hard after a while and needs to be changed. The BTE had microphone, receiver and all parts behind the ear. On some BTE we can put a slim tubing that does not have to be changed as much as the regular tubing. Most people don’t like these because they are big and visible. The advantage of the big hearing aid is power.
Receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids (RIC)
RIC Hearing aid fits behind the ear and the receiver connects the hearing aid to the piece that goes in the ear. Instead of the receiver being behind the ear it goes in the ear. This cuts out tubing changing. You can have a custom earmold or just an earbud on the end that goes into your ear canal. The RIC comes in so many different shapes and sizes depending on the manufacturer.
In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE)
ITE hearing aids are custom full shell filling the bowl-shaped part and the outer ear. They are also more visible than other custom hearing aids. The ITE’s will give you the most power for a custom hearing aid. They are bigger for people who want custom but have dexterity issues. The battery is typically bigger as well for dexterity and longer lasting batteries.
In-the-canal hearing aid (ITC)
ITC hearing aids are a smaller hearing aid then the ITE. ITC’s fill up the bowl of the ear canal. For people with dexterity issues or want a bigger battery these are a little bit big to help give you something more to grab on to.
Completely-in-the-canal hearing aid (CIC)
CIC hearing aid is in the ear canal making it harder to see. You can still see a little of the face-plate at the entrance to the ear canal. For custom hearing aids these are the most popular because of the small size.
Invisible-in-Canal hearing aid (IIC)
If someone does not want anyone to know they wear hearing aid IIC is the one you want. The IIC is the tiniest of the custom hearing aids. They also are so small you need good dexterity to change batteries and insert the hearing aid into your ear canal. The IIC tends to fill up on earwax more than others because it is so deep in the canal.