Hearing aids are battery-powered devices that are used to help improve your hearing and can also help improve your relationships, self-confidence and emotional well-being.
There are two main types of hearing aids:
In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are worn in the ear canal and are usually custom made to fit, based on an impression taken by your hearing care professional at the time of your consultation. Some types of ITE hearing aids tend to fit very deeply within the ear canal, while others sit closer to the outer ear.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
The BTE hearing aids are worn behind or on top of the outer ear area. They carry the sound down to the ear canal with the help of tubing and a custom-fit/ dome style earmold that doesn’t block the entire ear canal opening. These styles are available in different colors as well.
ITC hearing aids usually sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them a comfortable and easy to use choice. Since the ITCs are larger, they tend to have a longer battery life compared to the IIC and CIC styles. Their size even allows them to fit a wider range of hearing losses and additional features like directional microphones for better understanding and manual controls, like a volume wheel.
Low-Profile Hearing Aids
Low-profile aids are similar to ITC aids, ranging from half-shell designs to full-shell designs that fill almost the entire outer ear. Low-profile designs are large and can feature directional microphones and manual controls, like a volume wheel and a push-button to change programs. The size also makes it desirable for people with dexterity issues as it is easier to handle than the smaller sizes.
Receiver in The Ear (RITE)
This model features an open-fit hearing aid with a speaker built into an insertable ear dome rather than the main body. The microphone and processor are stored in a tiny case behind the ear and are connected to the speaker by a thin wire. This style tends to have above-average sound quality.
Behind-The-Ear with Earmold
BTE styles come with earmolds that can fit any type of hearing loss, from mild to profound. Their shape follows the contours behind the outer ear and can generally house more features, controls as well as battery power than any other style of hearing aid. A BTE with an earmold style is usually used for children as the BTE can be reprogrammed as needed and the mold can be replaced as the child grows.