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Hearing Aid Types and Styles

There are many types and styles of hearing aids. The kind and degree of hearing loss, power requirements and options, manual dexterity abilities, cost factors, and cosmetic concerns are some of the factors that will determine the exact hearing aid type and style the patient will use.

The most common types and styles are listed below:


BTE, BE or Behind-The-Ear

These hearing aids are the largest hearing aids and they are very reliable. BTEs have the most circuit options and they typically offer much more power than custom made units. BTEs are the units that rest on the back of your ear. They are connected to the ear canal via custom-made plastic tubing. The tubing is part of the ear mould. The ear mould is custom made from an ear impression to perfectly replicate the size and shape of your ear.

ITE or In-The-Ear

These hearing aids are probably the most comfortable, the least expensive and the easiest to operate. They are also the largest of the custom made styles.


CIC or Completely-In-The-Canal

These hearing aids are the tiniest hearing aids made. They usually require a "removal string" due to their small size and the fact that they fit deeply into the ear canal. CICs can be difficult to remove without the pull string. CICs do not usually have manual controls attached to them because they are too small.

IIC or Invisible-in-canal

IIC model is tiniest, it is placed deep into the ear canal, providing not only better sound but also more comfort. CICs do not usually have manual controls attached to them because they are too small. Unlike other hearing aids, the IIC has no joined parts and therefore no hard edges - adding extra comfort for hearing aid users. For mild to moderately severe hearing loss.


Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) model is a newer development in hearing aids and is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.Compared to a classic behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, the receiver of the RIC (the loudspeaker) is placed in the ear-tip instead of in the housing, thereby reducing its size.

The RIC model consists of three parts: The housing, which sits behind the ear, and a thin earwire connecting the housing to the receiver. The receiver goes directly into the ear canal. The RIC model is a very discreet, yet powerful hearing aid, which works fully automatically.

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