Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aid technology has advanced rapidly in the last several years.
The leading brands in the hearing aid industry, have access to devices that are high-quality, comfortable, and affordable.
Hearing Aid Styles
The hearing aid industry offers more options than ever before, yet all devices find themselves in one of two categories:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Sitting behind or on top of the outer ear, a BTE design utilizes a tube that connects to an ear mold or tip inside of your ear canal. With the widest selection of colors, sizes, features, degrees of power, and battery types, BTE’s are so small that they are often unnoticeable to others. Some of the various BTE styles include:
The smallest BTE option on the market, a Mini BTE creates a natural hearing experience through a soft tip at the end of its tubing. This encourages airflow and sound to enter the ear along with amplified sounds.
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or Receiver-in-canal (RIC):
A speaker built into the ear tip instead of the body of the device is what makes RITE hearing aids different. Their size is like that of a Mini BTE and they are nearly invisible to others. Mini RITE’s are also an option.
BTE with Earmold:
Patients can enjoy more features and a longer battery life with a BTE with Earmold. It uses a custom-shaped earmold at the tip of its tubing, directing sound straight to the ear canal. These devices are slightly larger and use a shape that follows the contour of your ear.
In-the-ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Instead of resting behind the ear, ITE hearing aids sit inside of the ear using an impression for a custom fit. We offer many types of ITE styles including:
Invisible in-the-canal (IIC):
Sitting deep within the ear canal, IIC devices are the smallest hearing aids on the market and are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Completely in-the-canal (CIC):
These devices are slightly larger than the IIC, yet are still quite discreet. CIC hearing aids fit inside of your ear canal in a more shallow fashion than other styles.
In-the-canal (ITC) or Half Shell:
Patients looking for features like volume control, directional microphones, and a larger battery will benefit from an ITC device. These typically sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl and are slightly larger than a CIC.
In-the-ear (ITE) or Full Shell:
Best for individuals with more severe hearing loss, an ITE device fills the entire outer bowl of the ear. Patients can enjoy advanced features like volume controls and longer battery life due to their larger size.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Hearing aids with disposable batteries require new batteries every few days to weeks. Ultimately, the need for batteries depends on the hearing aid model you choose. But not all hearing aids need batteries.
Rechargeable hearing aids are very easy to use, and you can just place your hearing aids back on their charging port when you are not using them. Many people like this option because they don’t have to deal with purchasing hearing aid batteries regularly or trying to get their batteries into their hearing aids. People who have dexterity issues or those who don’t want to worry about buying and changing batteries regularly might benefit from wearing rechargeable hearing aids.
If you are just now exploring their options for the first time, the number of styles and manufacturers on the market may seem overwhelming. Whether you want a small device that integrates the latest technology or a more basic model that’s easy to use, there’s a hearing aid for every budget and lifestyle.