With today’s technological advances, hearing aid wears have more options than ever before.
Hearing aid styles can range in size from completely-in-the-canal to behind-the-ear. The most widely fitted and sophisticated circuit available today is the digital circuit, which offers more accurate fitting, more control over annoying feedback, directional microphones and automatic adjustment of volume throughout the day. Programmable analog circuits are also available.
The following is a list of styles that are available:
In-The-Ear Styles – Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. They’re available in different skin tones to camouflage with the outer ear. There are several styles – each is listed below, ranging from smallest to largest.
Invisible-in-The-Canal (IIC) – The smallest custom style, IIC instruments sit invisibly in or past the second bend of the ear canal. IIC devices are specifically designed for mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) – The smallest custom style, CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. They fit mild-to-moderate hearing losses and offer high cosmetic appeal, as they’re nearly invisible when worn.
In-the-Canal (ITC) – ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have longer battery life and can host additional features, such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments and controls (like volume controls). They can assist with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Full Shell or In the Ear (ITE) – Full-shell models sit flush within the outer ear bowl. Their size allows the maximum number of additional controls and features, such as directional microphones, which require space on the outer portion of the instrument. They use a larger battery size than the smaller styles and can fit a larger receiver with enough power for even severe hearing loss. Because of their flexibility, they’re widely recommended for mild-to-severe hearing loss.
Behind-The-Ear Styles – Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind or on top of the outer ear, with tubing that routes sounds down into the ear that connects to an ear tip or earmold to secure them in the ear canal. BTEs come in colors to blend with hair or skin tones, and even chrome colors, leopard print, and other funky designs to suit personal styles. Different BTE sizes accommodate different features, controls, battery types, and degrees of power (larger instruments generally have more power than smaller ones). While many people choose discreet BTEs that are unnoticeable when worn, others are tempted to show off the cool designs.
Mini Behind-the-Ear (BTE) with Slim Tube and Tip – Mini BTEs are designed to hide behind the outer ear and have ultra-thin tubing to discreetly route sound into the ear. The tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn’t occlude it. The result is a natural, open feeling as airflow and sound enter the ear naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip. This is known as “open fitting” and is recommended for mild-to-moderate, high-frequency hearing loss.
Receiver in Canal (RIC) – RIC models are mini BTEs that have the speaker of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. RIC instruments fit mild-to-severe hearing losses. This hearing aid style looks similar to the Mini BTE when worn on the ear.
BTE with Earmold – BTEs with earmolds fit a variety of hearing losses, from mild to profound. Their longer shape follows the contour behind the outer ear and can house many features, including a program button and volume control. The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they will look on each person.
When it comes to hearing aids, there are so many options, how are you supposed to know which one is right for you? The answer is easy. If you are in the Paducah KY area, come see Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology. Tim will talk with you about your needs, your lifestyle and help you find the hearing aid that is right for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us. Purchase Ear Technology is conveniently located at 2008 Broadway St, Paducah, KY. At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient. YOU ARE FAMILY!