Different hearing aid options
There are a number of styles of hearing aids on the market. Which one is right for you? Here’s a quick rundown of your options:
CIC Hearing Aids
CIC stands for ‘completely in the canal.’ These hearing aids sit hidden in your ear canal and are the least visible style available. They pick up less wind noise but offer fewer extra features. Their very small batteries don’t last as long and can be difficult to put in.
ITC Style Devices
These ‘in the canal’ aids are custom molded to fit partially in your ear canal. They’re less visible than larger styles and include more features than a CIC aid. However, users may struggle to adjust settings on these small-sized devices.
ITE Hearing Aids
You’ll find two main kinds of ‘in the ear’ aids. One mostly fills the bowl of your outer ear. The other fills the lower half of it. These are more visible than smaller aids. They carry big, long lasting batteries, have easier to access volume control, and can help greater amounts of hearing loss.
BTE Style Devices
‘Behind the ear’ hearing aids hook over your ear and tuck behind it. Tubing connects the aid to an earpiece fitted to your ear canal. These are a more visible style, but they can also compensate for more severe hearing loss. Wind noise may be a problem.
RIC and RITE Aids
These involve ‘receiver in canal’ or ‘receiver in the ear.’ Unlike with BTE styles, their components are connected with a wire instead of tubing. They are less visible than BTE aids, but more prone to ear wax clogging the speaker.
Multifunction aids like Phonak hearing aids connect directly to Bluetooth enabled devices including smartphones and TV sets. They are also rechargeable and can be adjusted by apps.