Hearing Aid Overview
Within the wide variety of hearing aids, each comes with a combination of advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, each person’s needs is specific to the purpose of hearing aids, making no single model the right choice for all users. It is important to know the general types of hearing aids, as well as the profile of advantages and disadvantages that is associated with the aids. The two basic kinds of hearing aids are In The Ear (ITE) or Behind The Ear (BTE).
Hearing Aid Styles
ITC Hearing Aids
In the canal hearing aids (ITC) rest comfortably in the external canal of the ear. ITC hearing aids have all the bells and whistles of a typical hearing aid, yet they are custom made to fit the user’s ear. There are different fits and sizes of in the canal hearing aids depending on the ear anatomy and needs of the user. The three major types (fit varies by user) are the standard canal aid, the completely in the canal aid (CIC), and the invisible in the canal aid (IIC). ITC hearing aids require that a custom impression be taken of the user’s ear. Based on your preferences and needs, your audiologist will help you to select the right hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle.
BTE Hearing Aids
There are two main types of behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids. The first type is the standard BTE. For this style the unit rests comfortably and stably behind the top of the ear. A small tube connected to the hearing aid allows sound to flow through and be delivered via a custom-made piece called an earmold.
The second type of hearing aid that goes behind the ear is called a receiver in the canal (RIC). For this style of hearing aid, the user will still have a unit that rests behind the ear, but an attached receiver (very thin wire) produces the sound at the level of the ear canal. Discuss with your audiologist, which style would be better suited for your needs and level of comfort.