Hearing Aid Styles
Finding the right hearing aid style for you is very important to successfully treating your hearing loss. When you’re choosing a hearing aid, it’s important to consider your type and degree of hearing loss as well as your activity level and personal preferences. Our outstanding audiology team at Camino ENT in San Jose is here to help you understand what styles will best suit your needs.
Here’s a look at the different types of hearing aids available.
Completely In the Canal (CIC)
CIC hearing aids are small and compact. They fit inside the ear canal and are nearly invisible to others. All of the electronic components in CIC devices are housed in the custom-made shell. They are put in place and removed using a small cord that protrudes from the ear canal and their size means these devices are best for those with good manual dexterity. CIC devices are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and use small batteries with a relatively short lifespan.
In The Canal (ITC)
ITC devices are similar to CIC hearing aids, but they’re slightly larger in size. ITC hearing aids fit inside the ear canal, but they sit more shallowly than CIC devices. Despite this, ITC hearing aids are still mostly hidden from others. They include some features the smaller CIC instruments lack and are also best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Invisible In Canal (IIC)
IIC hearing aids are the smallest style available. They’re placed very deep inside the ear canal and take advantage of the natural contours of the ear, requiring less amplification and providing improved directionality and sound localization. IIC devices are virtually invisible to others and work best for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
In The Ear (ITE)
ITE devices are worn in the ear canal, but the face of the shell is visible in the concha (bowl-shaped portion) of the ear. Like other canal styles, the electronics of ITE devices are housed in a custom-created plastic earmold. ITE hearing aids work for San Jose residents with mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind The Ear (BTE)
BTE is a popular hearing aid style that consists of a plastic shell, which houses the electronic components and is worn behind the ear, connected to an earmold placed in the ear canal by a clear tube. The device can be used for all severities of hearing loss and its controls are located on top of the hearing aid for convenience. This is the largest and easiest-to-use hearing aid style for San Jose patients, making it a popular option for children and seniors with dexterity issues.
Receiver In The Ear (RITE)/Open Fit
RITE hearing aids are similar to the BTE style, but they are smaller and the receiver is separate from the other components. Open fit hearing aids’ receivers are placed in the bowl-shaped concha of the ear. This allows for a more subtle and less visible device. RITE devices often include extra features unavailable in canal-style hearing aids. They allow sounds to enter the ear unimpeded, providing a more natural sound quality and eliminating the occlusion (blockage) effect many users experience when talking, chewing, etc. Open fit devices can work for mild to severe hearing loss, especially in high frequencies, depending on the individual case.