Comparing hearing aids can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the large number of acronyms commonly used to identify popular types. The following list includes the vast majority of the acronyms you will run into when looking into hearing aids and presents a short description of each one. The most effective way to really understand the differences is to see them side-by-side, so if any of these descriptions are unclear, you should contact us to come in and examine the different alternatives.
Below is an alphabetical list of standard hearing aid types
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE style’s more substantial case enables many advanced features and is a superior choice for anyone that has poor finger dexeterity. All of the components are within the external case which is worn behind the ear. Wide range of colors options are available. This style is frequently chosen for young children for growth and safety reasons.
- Completely in Canal (CIC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC type fits inside the ear canal making it close to invisible. Due to its small size, the Completely in Canal style may have fewer features. For instance, the Completely in Canal type doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
- Deep Canal (DC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the Deep Canal style fits deep inside the ear canal and is invisible. The Deep Canal style has less occlusion than other types but isn’t appropriate for all patients especially individuals with a narrow ear canal. Because of its small size, the DC style may have fewer features. For example, the Deep Canal type does not offer directional microphones.
- In the Ear (ITE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the ITE style of hearing aid is a fine choice for an array of hearing losses and is very easy to handle. The ITE is visible inside the ear, but its greater size offers more functionality, additional power and an extended battery life.
- In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC design is a compact hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is externally visible. Because it is somewhat larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, directional microphones are possible with the In-the-Canal style.
- Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The Invisible-in-Canal type of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is fully invisible from the outside. IIC types are typically not suggested for elderly users, but are a wonderful choice in middle age.
- Open Ear / Open Fit – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) model blends an external hearing aid case that sits behind the ear and a clear tube placed in the ear. The Open Fit model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and is available in various colors.
- Receiver In the Ear (RITE) or (RIE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear design is the smallest among the hearing aids work externally. The RIE/RITE style offers a tiny case that fits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear attached by a clear tube. The ear canal stays open for natural sound quality.
- Power – Formulated for individuals with profound hearing loss, the Power style hearing aid comes with a larger external case that sits behind the ear. The larger physical size allows it to provide the most sound amplification making use of the most powerful current technologies.
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