Different Types of Hearing Aids

What Are The Different Types Of Hearing Aids

by | Oct 30, 2019 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

How Do I Know Which One to Choose?

The stigma that used to be attached to hearing aids is becoming a thing of the past. With new technology, accessibility, functionality, and stylish designs, their association with being an age-related necessity is truly over.

With such a wonderful choice of products, it’s incredibly important that you understand the difference between the different types of hearing aid, allowing you to make an informed decision along with your audiologist about which one is right for you.

It is always best to make the decision alongside your audiologist as the type of hearing aid that will be right for you is determined by a number of factors and outcomes discovered during your hearing health check.

Types of Hearing Aids

Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) – these are absolutely tiny, nobody would ever know you were even wearing them

These are the smallest custom hearing aids available. They are sculpted for you to ensure the best fit within the ear canal, meaning they are near enough invisible. These need to be removed each day for hygiene and comfort purposes, but for the style conscious wearer, they are a perfect, discreet option.  The IIC hearing aids are ideal for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Completely-In-Canal (CIC) – a little bit can be seen but you really do have to look hard to see it

These hearing aids have a tiny handle that peeps out of the side, which makes removing them really easy for the wearer, making them an excellent option for people with slightly diminished dexterity as they are easier to remove than the IIC.  They also sit in the ear canal and are incredibly discreet but not as discreet as the IIC. They come in a range of colors and are custom fit. The CIC hearing aids are ideal for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-The-Canal (ITC)  Visible in the canal but still incredibly discreet

The ITC comes in a skin colored design, which is really easy to insert and extract, making it incredibly user friendly and easily disguised as it just looks like part of your natural ear when worn. The ITC hearing aids are ideal for patients with mild to mildly severe hearing loss and for patients whose hearing is diminishing at a steady pace.

In-The-Ear (ITE) – These hearing aids are custom fit and they sit within the outer portion of the ear

The ITE hearing aids come in a variety of colors and can be matched to the tone of your skin. The design cleverly allows the device to mold perfectly to the outer entrance of your ear canal for optimum comfort. They provide excellent hearing coverage, making the ITE hearing aid a great choice for patients with mildly severe to severe hearing loss.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) – These are very popular with first time hearing aid wearers. They are incredibly quick to fit with the added benefit of being small and discreet.

The RIC hearing aid has a speaker inside the ear canal making it very discreet to wear. In fact, it is barely visible.  Distortion is reduced with the RIC as electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube. They are comfortable to wear and perfect for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE) – This hearing aid is the most common style; they look like what people tend to imagine when they think of hearing aids.

The BTE hearing aid is traditional in its styling, with most people picturing a BTE when imaging what a hearing aid would look like. The technology is housed in casing, which means the hearing aid can rest behind the ear and a clear tube sends sounds into an earmold that has been customized for the individual that is fitted into the ear canal. They are also available in many different colors, are easy to use, and are discreet. The BTE hearing aids are usually worn by patients with moderate to severe hearing loss.

As with anything new, your new hearing aids may feel strange at first, they make take some getting used to, but you will come to love them in no time at all.

If you would like any advice regarding which hearing aid would be right for you or to book in for a hearing health check, please do get in touch with us at Audicles.

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Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Board began her career in audiology after completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been fortunate to work in a plethora of healthcare and educational settings. As a result, she has perfected the art of effective adult and pediatric treatment. When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Board works directly with her state and national organizations to not only improve the quality of audiological healthcare in Texas, but also to advocate for her patients.