Hearing Aids

If you have just had a consultation with your audiologist and were prescribed hearing aids to treat your hearing loss, it is important to explore your options. During your hearing test, your audiologist determined your abilities to hear in particular ranges of sound. Even with this information, the range of possibilities when it comes to hearing assistance can be overwhelming.

If you were to look for hearing aids on your own, the types and names might appear like a jumble of letters and acronyms. Here, we provide a simple explanation of the main types of hearing aids. Within each type, there is great variety, so it is important to work side-by-side with your audiologist to determine which type is right for your needs and to suit your lifestyle.

The two basic kinds of hearing aids are In The Ear (ITE) or Behind The Ear (BTE). Within these general types, there are many variants, with different pros and cons depending on your needs.

Choosing Hearing Aids

With all these different styles and features, it’s no wonder that choosing a hearing aid is a very personal process. Not only is your hearing ability part of the decision, but you also will want to consider your lifestyle and the environments or activities that will require hearing assistance.

If you want to hear better in social settings but feel uncomfortable using a visible hearing aid, then an ITE might be the right choice. However, if you struggle with dexterity, then a larger BTE might be helpful. Furthermore if you engage in activities that might subject the aids to moisture, then you will need to use that preference in your hearing aid decision. Ultimately, it is important to work with your audiologist to choose the aids that are right for your hearing needs and lifestyle.

To learn more about the hearing aids we manufacture in-house, or the major hearing aid brands that we carry, contact us at Eartronics today.

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ITE Hearing Aids

ITE hearing aids are placed directly into your ear canal, and they tend to come as a single unit with all the components in the same housing. Regular ITE hearing aids come in two forms: half-shell and full-shell, which describes the amount of space they take up on your ears.

Invisible In the Canal (IIC)

These are the very smallest ITE hearing aids. They are so tiny that they fit into your ear canal beyond the point where an eye can see them. Generally speaking, your audiologist will insert and place IIC aids into your ear canals.

Completely In the Canal (CIC)

Another form of ITE hearing aids, CIC aids may not be completely invisible, but they do fit all the way into the ear canal. Some like these hearing aids because they remain out of sight, but they can be difficult to take in and out, particularly for those with dexterity issues or arthritis. These units also may be more sensitive to moisture or water damage.

In The Canal (ITC)

ITC devices do fit in the ear as a single unit, but they can be easier to manipulate with the fingers. Some wearers of ITC hearing aids complain of occlusion, or the feeling that their ears are plugged up. If this is the case, some wearers of ITC hearing aids will simply get used to the feeling, while others may prefer a BTE device.

BTE Hearing Aids

BTE hearing aids are different from ITE, because they have two components connected by a small cord. The amplifier sits in the ear canal, just like an ITE, but this piece is connected to a cartridge that sits behind the ear containing the battery and microphone. Although these units are visible and a bit bigger, they come with the benefit of being easier to take in and out. Those who have trouble manipulating tiny objects may prefer a BTE hearing aid, because part of the unit sits behind the ear. For people who experience dexterity issues, BTE hearing aids are the easiest type to maneuver. The earmold part of the device pops right into your outer ear, sitting in the visible space outside the ear canal. Some people experience occlusion with these models, but responses are mixed. People who wear eyeglasses may have some difficulty with the plastic component that rests on the back of the ear.

Receiver In The Ear (RITE)/Receiver In the Canal (RIC)

This style of hearing aid has the battery compartment sitting behind the ear, but it is connected via a wire to a small piece that resembles an ITE that fits into the ear canal.