If you or a loved one are in the market for hearing aids, you may feel overwhelmed because there is no one-size-fits-all option. Although the technology may be the similar in each type of hearing aid, there is a difference in where the device sits in or on the ear. Below you’ll find a guide to the different types of hearing aids to help you make a decision on which one is right for you.
ICC hearing aids are custom-fitted and inserted deeper into the ear canal than most types. This hearing aid is completely invisible and works best for those who have mild or moderate hearing loss. ICC’s are made to be removed daily.
CICs are hearing instruments created to help those with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are designed to fit in the ear canal and, as with most types of hearing aids, CICs are customized to the wearer. They are not completely invisible because the tip of it’s small plastic handle does show outside the canal. This handle is used to insert and remove the CIC.
This type of hearing aid is custom-made to fit your ear canal. A small portion of the ITC shows in the outer ear and they are slightly larger than CIC hearing aids. However, they do not protrude from the ear and are still cosmetically appealing. ITCs are designed to help those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids are customized to the wearer and fit the outer portion of the ear. They are designed for mild to severe hearing loss and are larger than CICs.
This style of hearing instrument has two components; a case behind the ear that holds the amplifier and microphone, and a small receiver that sits in the ear canal. A small tube connects the two components and RICs are known for their open fit. Designed for mild to moderate hearing loss, RICs use thin electrical wires instead of the traditional plastic acoustical tube to reduce distortion.
Created to help those with moderate to severe hearing loss, these are often what people picture when they think of traditional hearing aids. However, technology and design has improved, making BTEs less bulky and more pleasing to look at. These hearing aids make use of a casing that sits behind the ear and a plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into the earbud. Finally, a customized earmold is fitted to sit inside the ear canal.
When choosing your hearing aids, look for fit, quality and battery life. Visit a professional centre and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are the one wearing the hearing instrument and you need to be comfortable.