With dozens of hearing aid types boasting excellent connectivity, it’s now easier than ever to solve a host of hearing problems with a single device. The number of hearing aids on the market can make it hard to determine which type is right for you. That’s why we’ve written this simple guide to help you choose the right model and style of hearing aid that works for you.
Behind the Ear hearing aids (BTE)
As the name suggests, these hearing devices have been designed to sit behind the ear. Most of its components (microphone, some controls, and amplifier) sit outside the ear while a tubing that carries processed sound waves passes over the ear into the ear canal. Most of the BTEs have a wireless connectivity feature that allows them to connect directly to mobile phones, TVs, and even external microphones to make hearing care easier. Advancement in technology has enabled device manufacturers to come up with small and light BTE devices that are less than an inch in length.
Receiver in the canal hearing aids (RIC)
RIC and BTE models share a lot of similarities. They both have a casing that sits outside the ear and a tubing that runs into the hearing canal. However, the tubing in RIC models doesn’t entirely block the ear canal. This allows for natural sound to enter the ear. RIC models are designed for people with partial hearing loss. Most of the RIC models come with wax guards and they allow you to choose your own amplification. The main disadvantage of RIC models is the high cost of replacing the receiver.
ITE hearing devices have been designed to fit into the ear with no external visible part. ITE models are best fit for people with severe hearing problems. The best thing with ITEs is that you can get a custom fit to suit your needs. If you find a comfortable fit for ITE, you will probably find them more appealing than other devices. The major setback with the ITEs is that they call for high maintenance, and they may bring about a ‘blocked up’ sensation. Also, an individual with an ITE may experience wax buildup, which makes it challenging to maintain the device.
Completely-in-the-canal devices (CIC)
Completely in the canal devices have many similarities with the ITE devices. The main difference between CICs and ITEs is the size. CIC devices are small and they usually sit deep into the ear canal. sometimes, CICs are totally invisible.
Finding the right device can be overwhelming. That’s why we encourage our patients to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing care professionals to find the right device for them.