Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids come in many different styles, shapes and sizes, from small custom in-the-canal to high power behind-the-ear.
All hearing aid at Hearing Care Professionals are digital, meaning if your hearing changes in the future they may be reprogrammed to match the change in hearing.
CUSTOM IN-THE-EAR STYLES
Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. The degree of hearing loss, size and shape of ear canal, personal preference and cosmetic appeal are considerations when selecting custom in the ear hearing aids.
COMPLETELY-IN-THE-CANAL (CIC) - Digital; Non-wireless; Custom
The smallest custom style, CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. Because they are so small, they do not have wireless capability or a volume control. They fit mild to moderate hearing losses and offer high cosmetic appeal as they’re nearly invisible when worn.
IN-THE-CANAL (ITC) Digital; Wireless and Non-wireless; Custom
ITC instruments fit in the canal, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have wireless capability, longer battery life, and can host additional features such as microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls and program buttons. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses.
MIC-IN-HELIX (MIH) Digital; Wireless and Non-wireless; Custom
MIC instruments fit in the canal much like an ITC, but with a small microphone placed in the helix of the ear making them less prone to feedback (squealing) and wind noise. They have a number of features including hand-free operation, wireless capability, better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls and program buttons. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses.
FULL SHELL OR IN-THE-EAR (ITE) Digital; Wireless and Non-wireless; Custom
Full shell models fill the bowl of the outer ear. Their size allows the maximum number of additional controls and features such as wireless capability, directional microphones, larger battery size with longer battery life, and a larger receiver, all which require extra space in the hearing instrument and pack enough power for even some severe hearing losses. Because of their flexibility, they’re widely recommended for mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind, with tubing that routes sounds down into the ear that connects to an ear tip or earmold to secure them in the ear canal. Different BTE sizes accommodate different features, controls, battery types and degrees of power (larger instruments generally have more power than smaller ones). BTEs come in colors to blend with hair or skin tones, and even bright colors to suit personal styles. While many people choose discreet BTEs that are unnoticeable when worn, others are tempted to show off the cool colors and designs. The degree of hearing loss, size and shape of ear canal, personal preference and cosmetic appeal are considerations when selecting BTE hearing aids.
RECEIVER IN THE CANAL (RIC) Digital; Wireless & Non-wireless; Optional Custom Earmold
RIC models are small BTEs that have the speaker of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. They are most often an “open fit” that allows natural sound into the ear, amplifying the voice sounds you need to hear. They have many features and benefits including wireless capability, improved sound quality, and have great cosmetic appeal. RIC instruments fit mild to moderately severe hearing losses, and may be fit with a small custom mold, if necessary.
BEHIND-THE-EAR (BTE) WITH EARMOLD Digital; Wireless & Non-wireless; Custom Earmold
BTEs with custom earmolds can house many features such as a program button, volume control, longer battery life, wireless capability and more power. Generally, the larger the BTE, the greater the power. . The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they’ll look on each person. BTE’s fit mild through profound hearing losses.