Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids are small devices that bring sound into the ear and make it louder. They are usually worn in or behind the ear.
Hearing aids are best for people with low to high level hearing loss that comes from damage to the cells that sense sound in the ear. The hearing aid helps make the sound loud enough that the healthy cells can notice it and send it to the brain.
Hearing aids styles all have the same basic parts that make sound louder and come in styles for every age or activity. The four main styles are:
The completely in the canal (CIC) and mini CIC that mold to fit your ear canal and improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
The in the canal (ITC) that is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal to improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
The in the ear (ITE) that is custom made in two versions: one that fills most of the outer ear or one that fills only the lower part. Both versions improve hearing for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
The behind the ear (BTE) that hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear with the receiver in the ear. People of all ages with any level of hearing loss can use this style. It also comes in an open fit version that keeps the ear canal open to allow for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally while making high-frequency sounds louder.
For some patients, a traditional hearing aid may not be the best option to improve their hearing. Your audiologist may also speak with you about devices other than hearing aids, such as osseointegrated bone anchored devices or cochlear implants. These technologies are appropriate for a smaller portion of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing population who have specific medical conditions.
An audiologist can help you with choosing a hearing aid, getting it fitted to your ear and doing maintenance on it for daily use. You should talk with your doctor about your hearing needs and wants to find the best hearing aid style for you.