Hearing Aid Styles | EarClinic
Hearing aids have improved greatly with the advent of digital technology. If you’re picturing big and bulky devices with questionable sound quality, you’ll be pleased to learn today’s instruments are smaller, more comfortable and provide sound that is more natural. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so finding one that appeals to your lifestyle needs and cosmetic preferences should be easy.
Here are the types available:
A RIC hearing aid consists of a tiny housing containing all electronics and is positioned behind the ear. The only other electronic component is the thin wire to the receiver, which “hugs” over the top of the ear and is placed into the ear canal.
It’s a small and discreet unit but powerful enough for treating mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
The most popular style of hearing aid (about 87 percent of users choose this type), a BTE device is curved to match the contour of the ear and rests directly behind the ear. The housing, which contains all electronic components, is encased in plastic and connects to the ear canal with tubing attached to an ear mold.1
Though more visible than other styles, the BTE is simple to use, making it a popular choice for children. It’s powerful enough for all types of hearing loss.
Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) & Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC)
This hearing aid is placed in the ear canal and is the smallest available. It takes advantage of the ear’s natural ability to collect sound, and its discreet size makes the device virtually invisible to others.
The trade-off is a shorter battery life, and it may prove difficult to adjust for those with poor manual dexterity. This is a good choice for mild to moderate hearing loss.
This style is also designed to fit in the ear canal, but not as deeply as an IIC or CIC device, resting securely in the lower portion instead. It’s a little larger, making it easier to insert and remove and extending the battery life.
Best for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
This hearing aid is designed to fill the outer portion of the ear, and is larger than those worn in the ear canals. It is less discreet, but the size allows for more features and makes the unit easier to adjust.
A bigger battery translates to longer life and means those with severe or profound hearing loss can benefit from this style.
- Karl. (2019, November 25). Hearing Aid Sales Increase by 2.5% in First Quarter of 2019. Retrieved from https://www.hearingreview.com/hearing-loss/hearing-loss-prevention/industrial-military/hearing-aid-sales-increase-first-quarter2019