There are essentially six different types of hearing aids available, so how do you know which one to choose?
The type of hearing aid that you require is based on factors such as your level of hearing loss, aesthetic preferences, lifestyle needs and budget. Most hearing aids come in an array of colours from basic nude or silver to leopard print and pink or even metallic finishes to complement your hair or skin tone.
Depending on the anatomy and structure of your ear and ear canal you may even be able to get an invisible hearing aid!
Let’s break down the different types of hearing aids.
The Behind-the-Ear hearing aid houses the hearing technology in a casing that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into an earbud or a customized earmold that is fitted inside the ear canal.
Because of their size, they allow for easier cleaning and battery replacement. BTE devices don’t need to be custom fit, so often you can go home with your devices on the same day as your hearing evaluation.
Behind-the-Ear devices are also the most common style recommended for children, and people with active lifestyles find these devices to fit their needs the best. For moderate to severe hearing loss.
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) or Receiver-in-Ear (RIE)
Barely visible when worn, the Receiver-in-Canal style is a hearing aid in which the receiver, or speaker, is inside the ear canal. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing noise distortion. Receiver -in-Canal hearing aids provide a comfortable, open fit.
Receiver-in-Canal devices are very similar to Behind-the-Ear (BTE) devices but rather than sitting inside the device, the receiver sits inside the wearers’ ear canal producing a more natural listening experience For mild to moderate hearing loss.
In-the-Ear hearing aids are custom-made to fit within the outer portion of the ear making them a comfortable and snug fit. For mild to severe hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids are slightly bigger than the In-the-Canal (ITC), and, much like the In-the-Canal, the In-the-Ear hearing aid is contained all in one case. Since it is larger, they often have more features such as manual volume controls.
In-the-Canal hearing aids are custom-made to fit in the ear canal making them a comfortable and snug fit. A smaller portion of the hearing aid showing in the outer ear, making them visible. In-the-Canal devices tend to hold a powerful microphone, amplifier, and receiver all in a small shell.
Another form of this style is completely-in-Cana (CIC) hearing aids, which are inserted deeper into the canal and contain a small transparent antenna for easy removal. For mild to mildly severe hearing loss.
Completely-in-Canal hearing aids are custom-made to fit completely in the ear canal making them a comfortable and snug fit so you don’t have to be concerned about the device falling out during exercise or out with friends. There is only a small plastic tip “handle” on the CIC device which shows outside the canal, this is used to help you insert and remove the hearing aid.
For mild to moderate hearing loss.
This custom-fitted style is inserted farther into the ear canal than other styles, so it becomes completely invisible when worn. Depending on the anatomy and structure of your ear canal will determine how far in the device can be inserted, the further in it can be inserted the more likely it is to be invisible.
Invisible-in-Canal hearing aids are designed to be removed daily to promote good ear health. For mild to moderate hearing loss.
If you think you or a loved one may have a hearing loss our advice would be to get a free hearing checked.