Behind the ear

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss.

 

A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible

  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles

  • May pick up more wind noise than other styles

Receiver in the canal

Receiver in the canal hearing aids can be tailored to fit most types of hearing losses from Mild-Moderatly severe.

A receiver in the ear hearing aid:

  • Is very discrete

  • Doesn't plug the ear like the small in-the-ear hearing aids, making your voice sound better to you

  • May be more difficult to handle and adjust due to small parts

Completely in the canal (CIC) or (IIC) Invisible in the canal

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

 

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type

  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise

  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle

  • Doesn't contain extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the canal (ITC)

An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

 

An in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles

  • Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but may be difficult to adjust due to its small size

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the ear (ITE)

An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

 

An in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Includes features that don't fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control

  • May be easier to handle

  • Uses a larger battery for longer battery life

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

  • May pick up more wind noise than smaller devices

  • Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices

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