You most probably have seen someone wearing hearing aids before. However, do you know that there are different types of hearing aids out there? And we are not talking about brands. Hearing aids are differentiated by their design and how they are worn. The most common designs are those worn outside the ear. You may not know this but there are other designs worn inside the ear, away from prying eyes. In this post, discover the different types of hearing aids in the market and find out which one is more suitable for you.
Behind the ear hearing aids (BTE)
These are the largest of all hearing aids in the market, and hence, the most noticeable. Here the hearing aid sits behind the ear just as the name suggests. A thin tube then connects the hearing aid to the earpiece which houses the speaker. BTE hearing aids are easy to use because their size allows easy placement of the different controls. They are also stronger, and hence, better suited for severe hearing loss.
Receiver in canal hearing aids (RIC)
This type of hearing aid is slightly smaller than the BTE. The difference here is that the RIC hearing aid has its receiver embedded in the earpiece, right next to the speaker and inside the canal. As a result, the main component that lies behind the ear is usually smaller and less noticeable that the RIC. However, RIC hearing aids are powerful still and are recommended for severe to moderate hearing loss.
In the ear hearing aids (ITE)
These hearing aids are smaller than the RIC and BTE models. They do not contain the large noticeable component behind the ear that is present in RIC and BTE models. Instead, they feature a smaller design that fits snugly in the socket of the ear. Due to the smaller design, these hearing aids contain smaller controls and may be a little more difficult to tinker with compared to the larger models. The ITE hearing aids are great for moderate to mild hearing loss.
In the canal hearing aids (ITC)
As the name suggests, these hearing aids are worn in the ear canal. Unlike the ITE models that occupy the external socket of the ear, these fit right in the opening of the canal. They are much smaller compared to the ITE models. As a result, they feature less controls and smaller batteries. The ITC hearing aids are ideal for mild hearing loss.
Completely in canal hearing aids (CIC)
These are fitted right inside the ear canal. Only a small portion, in most cases the antenna, is left protruding out. They are quite small and highly inconspicuous. CIC hearing aids are not as strong as the larger models and are recommended for mild hearing loss.
Invisible in the canal (IIC)
These are the smallest and most inconspicuous hearing aid models available. They are fitted completely inside the canal tract and are invisible to other people. However, their size limits their range and makes them only ideal for mild hearing loss. They also have to be taken out regularly to prevent wax build up.
If you’re unsure what to go for, talk with your hearing aid specialist to discuss which model best suits your hearing and lifestyle needs.
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