Hearing Aid Styles
BTE: Behind the Ear
The electrical components of the instrument (microphone, amplifier, receiver) are housed in a compact case that tucks behind the ear. Sound is delivered to the ear canal through a clear tube over the top of the ear and into a custom-made acrylic/silicone earmold.
- Available in a variety of colors to blend with skin or hair
- Provides the best performance for severe hearing losses
- Extremely sturdy and reliable; also highly recommended for children
- Typically uses a larger battery (size 675 or 13) for longer battery life and easier manipulation
- Larger controls that are easier for some people to adjust
ITE: In the Ear
Electrical components of this instrument (microphone, amplifier, receiver) fit into a shell custom made to fit inside the ear. An ITE device may be more visible in the ear, though there are several types of ITE hearing aids, such as a Completely in the Canal (CIC), and In the Canal (ITC).
- More space for venting to reduce the occasional sensation of occlusion so your own voice will sound better
- Somewhat larger and can be easier to handle.
- Powered by larger batteries that last longer
- Able to accommodate accessories and special programming
ITC: In the Canal
The canal style provides a very cosmetic solution that can be hidden in most ears.
- Uses a slightly larger battery than the CIC for battery economy
- Optional telecoil switch
CIC: Completely in the Canal
The completely-in-canal hearing aid is a small hearing aid that fits entirely within your ear canal. These digital hearing aids are popular because it is the one of the smallest styles available.
- Excellent cosmetics almost invisible in the ear
- Comfortable and convenient telephone usage
- Takes advantage of the ear's own natural sound-collecting design
- Less wind noise
RIC: Receiver in Canal
RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aids have thin tubing that makes it very cosmetically appealing. The receiver is housed within a small tip that goes in to your ear and the computer sits behind the ear.
- Great comfort
- Excellent cosmetics
- Some models are water resistant