Hearing aids come in a variety of styles. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages. We understand that the aesthetics of a hearing instrument is a primary concern for potential users; it is important that you feel comfortable and confident when wearing your hearing instruments. Today's hearing aids are designed with this in mind, and we are confident that we can work with you to find the solution that best meets your personal needs and preferences.
BEHIND THE EAR (BTE):
All parts of the hearing aid are contained in a case that rests on the top/back of the ear. Sound is directed through a tube that connects to a custom shaped earmold that is placed in the ear. This style is commonly used for those with severe hearing loss because it can contain a larger amplifier. It is also frequently used for children; as the child grows, it is less expensive to replace the earmold than it would be to replace the entire hearing device.
MINI BEHIND THE EAR (OPEN FIT/RIC):
Mini BTEs (Behind the Ear) discretely rest behind the outer ear. Like BTEs, all parts of the hearing aid are contained in the case. Sound is directed to the ear via ultra slim tubing that connects to a soft tip that comfortably sits in the ear canal without occluding it. This is often referred to as an “open fit” as it allows airflow and sound to enter the canal naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip.
Another type of Mini BTE, the RIC (Receiver in the Ear) style of hearing aid takes the speaker from the case and places it into the ear tip. This type of hearing aid is typically used to treat mild to sever hearing losses while maintaining the aesthetic discretion of the Mini BTE styling.
COMPLETELY IN THE CANAL (CIC):
CIC hearing instruments fit deeply and entirely in the ear canal. While being the smallest type of hearing device available makes this style attractive to some for cosmetic reasons, its size does come with compromise in terms of performance and battery life.
IN THE CANAL (ITC):
In the Canal hearing devices fill up part of the ear canal and the lower portion of the bowl of the ear. ITC devices are larger than CIC models, giving the added benefits of being easier to handle, a longer battery life, and the ability to host additional features such as directional microphones and volume controls. These generally are used to fit mild and moderate hearing losses.
IN THE EAR (ITE):
This type of hearing aid fills most of the bowl of the outer ear. Due to its size, it is easy to insert and remove, and it can accomdate a variety of features such as directional microphones, telecoils, and larger amplifiers for those with a more severe hearing loss.