Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the internal components. Your audiologist can recommend hearing aids based on factors such as your level of hearing loss, aesthetic preferences, lifestyle needs and budget. Most BTE and RIC styles come in a range of colors and metallic finishes to complement your hair or skin tone. Invisibility may vary based on your ear’s anatomy.Many of today’s hearing aids are considered sleek, compact and innovative – offering solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.
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.
CIC hearing instruments are custom-made to fit completely in the ear canal. Only the tip of a small plastic “handle” shows outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument. For mild to moderate hearing loss.
ITC hearing instruments are custom-made to fit in the ear canal with a smaller portion of the hearing aid showing in the outer ear. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have a longer battery life, and can host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses
ITE hearing instruments are custom-made to fit within the outer portion of the ear. For mild to severe hearing loss. 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 some severe hearing losses. Because of their flexibility, they’re widely recommended for mild-to-severe hearing loss.
Barely visible when worn, the RIC style is an instrument in which the receiver, or speaker, is inside the ear canal instead of in the main body of the instrument. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing distortion. RIC hearing aids provide a comfortable, open fit. RIC instruments fit mild-to-severe hearing losses.
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 losses.
BTEs with earmolds fit mild through profound hearing losses. 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’ll look on each person