Types of Hearing Aids – the A to Z

With the evolution of designs and styles, hearing aids have come a long way since their initial days. Now you can find hearing devices in different shapes and sizes for varying degrees of hearing loss. Equipped with a variety of advanced features, these devices are designed to meet your unique requirements and fit your lifestyle and needs. Outlined below are the different types of hearing devices:

Completely in the canal (CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal device is designed to fit deep and tight in the ear. Also known as mini CIC, it is among the smallest and least visible hearing aids made. This type of hearing device can help to compensate minor to moderate degrees of hearing loss in an individual. Due to its placement within the ear canal, there is less chance of it picking up wind noise. But a CIC device doesn’t come with extra features like volume control or directional microphone. It can also be difficult to insert and remove batteries from this device.

In the canal (ITC)

An in-the-canal hearing device is slightly bigger than a CIC device but is smaller than the larger styles. This type of hearing device sits partly inside the canal. It can be beneficial for an adult suffering from minor to moderate levels of hearing loss. The ITC models can include additional features like directional microphone and manual volume control but are susceptible to moisture.

In the ear (ITE)

An in-the-ear hearing device comes in two varieties: full shell and half shell. While the full shell type covers the bowl of the external ear, the half shell type covers just the lower portion of the bowl. This type of device can be used by individuals suffering from slight to severe degrees of hearing loss. Such devices can include features like directional microphone, volume control, and wireless streaming. They use a large battery that offers longer performance. But the device is more visible than the ones that are small in size.

Behind the ear (BTE)

As the name indicates, a behind-the-ear (BTE) device is worn at the back of the external ear. There is a custom component that fits inside the canal and is connected to the device through a tube. This type of device can be used by people of all age groups and levels of hearing loss. Traditionally, they have been among the largest types of hearing devices, though the new designs are quite small. They offer better amplification than other styles and use larger batteries for more power.

Receiver in canal (RIC) or Receiver in the ear (RITE)

A receiver-in-canal or a receiver-in-the-ear hearing device is akin to a BTE device. The speaker of the device sits in the ear canal while the microphone and the processor are placed behind the ear. A thin wire connects the components. Such a device is not much visible due to its placement behind the ear.

Open fit

An open fit hearing device is a kind of BTE device where the canal of the ear remains open to receive sounds low in frequency in a natural way. The device helps to amplify sounds that are high in frequency. This device can be an ideal option for anyone suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.