When you start shopping for hearing aids you will quickly come across many distinct styles to choose from among them the receiver-in-canal (RIC). There are a number of benefits particular to receiver in canal units, as well as many commonalities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. This short article serves as a brief introduction of the main advantages and disadvantages of the receiver in canal hearing aid.
Many readers will be familiar with behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids where all the components are housed inside a single case. One of the key differentiating factors of the RIC hearing aid is that it has two separate parts. The case behind the ear contains the amplifier and microphone. The receiver is separate in a small bud which fits in the ear canal. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separating the receiver from the rest of the device has a number of advantages. RIC hearing aids are less likely to inundate listeners with feedback, and occlusion is generally less of a problem. Listeners also enjoy a more natural sound, making the listening experience much more comfortable. High-pitched tones are amplified particularly well, making receiver in canal hearing aids very suitable for individuals suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.
The split configuration of the RIC has a few other advantages. Separating the two components allows the device to remain very small, making it unobtrusive and easy to hide. The small size of the case also makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Receiver in canal hearing aids do have a few disadvantages to be aware of. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. Their comfort can also be a disadvantage: because users do not feel them in or on their ear, they are less likely to notice if they lose them. Lastly, this style of hearing aid is often higher in price than its cousins, so some shoppers may have difficulty fitting them into their budgets.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular receiver in canal style. Your hearing specialist would be happy to answer all your questions about different hearing aid styles and help you choose the best design.