What are the Best Hearing Aid Styles?
Choosing a hearing aid can be a personal decision that is based on a number of personal factors. Some of the key factors to consider are the degree of hearing loss experienced, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences in terms of comfort, compatibility, and visual awareness of the hearing aid itself.
When choosing the best hearing aid style, it is always recommended you discuss your needs and preferences with your audiologist prior to making a purchase. However, to give you a better idea of the best hearing aid style for your specific wants, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of these styles.
In-the-ear (ITE) devices
An ITE hearing aid is worn in the outer ear bowl and comes in a variety of different colors to match skin or hair tones. These devices are typically medium in size and come in either half-or-full shell, depending on your comfort and anatomy needs. These hearing aids are usually recommended for mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
BTE hearing aids will sit behind the ear and rely on a clear tubing to connect to an earmold or dome that sits in the ear. These devices come in miniature to regular-sized versions, allowing plenty of versatility for users to choose from. They are the easiest to handle and are ideal for individuals with dexterity issues, as well as those with mild-to-profound hearing loss.
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid
These devices rest just in the ear canal and are only slightly more visible than the deeper canal-worn counterparts. These aids will be custom molded and are generally considered to be more comfortable and accessible than the aids that sit further in the canal. These are suited to those who experience mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Because these are slightly larger than the above-mentioned devices, they will not be as discreet but will offer a wider range of additional features that users may benefit from.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid
A CIC hearing aid will be molded to fit inside your ear canal and is typically used when there is mild-to-moderate hearing loss. A CIC hearing aid will be best suited to those who are looking for a more discreet type of aid as these come in a variety of skin tones, are some of the smallest aids available, and are hard to notice by way of how they sit in the canal.
They also offer the advantage of offering a great sound quality due to where they sit in the ear. This style of hearing aid may not be well suited if you struggle with dexterity issues, as they are small and intricate to input and remove.