There are three basic styles of hearing aids – in the canal, in the ear and behind the ear. Each of the styles differ by size, their placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which they amplify sound.
Hearing aids simply don’t come any smaller than CIC models. A wonder of modern technology, CIC hearing aids fit deeply inside the ear canal, making it almost invisible to all but the most dedicated investigator. The aesthetic benefits of a CIC model are obvious; no one will ever suspect that you are wearing hearing aids. There is also less feedback with a CIC model, improved telephone utility, decreased wind noise, as well as less occlusion (the “talking in a barrel” effect). They are not designed for maximum amplification, however, and are best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss.
ITC hearing aids are the next step “out” from CICs, and fit on the very end of the ear canal. They are custom-made to fit perfectly in your ear, and are very discreet and difficult to notice. With their larger size and greater amplification powers, ITCs are suitable for moderately severe hearing loss.
ITEs are custom-fit to your outer ear and made from skin-toned material, making them not only exceptionally comfortable and suitable for severe hearing loss, but visually subtle as well.
BTE hearing aids are worn comfortably behind the ear, while a very thin, transparent tube runs down to a customized earmold that fits tightly in the ear canal or outer ear. BTEs are offered in many stylish colors and designs, and many are so discreet as to avoid notice. BTEs offer greater battery life and often more features thanks to their larger size, and most BTEs are compatible with assistive listening devices. Thanks to their amplification capabilities, BTEs are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss.