If images of large, cumbersome hearing aids that perhaps your grandparents wore are stopping you from getting hearing aids, then we at All About Hearing have some wonderful news for you – you have nothing to worry about!
Today’s hearing aids are tiny, lightweight, and most are nearly invisible. In fact, they’ve become quite mainstream, loaded with a variety of high-tech features and even have a wide range of fashionable colors to choose from.
To ensure you get the most from your hearing aids, we recommend that you discuss your options with your audiologist. They will advise you on which style and features will benefit you. Your degree of hearing loss, budget, and lifestyle will be considered.
We’ve put together this short guide to give you a better idea of your options, so you can be prepared for your appointment.
Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) – No one will know you are wearing these tiny, discreet devices.
Mild to moderate hearing loss patients will welcome these tiny custom-fitted devices. They are placed into the ear canal and, depending on your ear shape, are practically invisible. You do have the option to personalize them with a color of your choice. We recommend you remove them daily for comfort and hygiene purposes.
Completely-In-Canal (CIC) – A tiny bit shows if you really look for it
Mild to moderate hearing loss patients will benefit from CICs. They are custom made and you can use a tiny handle that sticks out for easy insertion and removal. These are nearly invisible, but if you’d like, you can choose from a range of colors for that personal touch.
In-The-Canal (ITC) – A bit more shows, but they don’t stand out
ITCs fit snugly within the ear canal’s opening. They are custom fitted and they are easy to insert and remove. They match your skin tone, which helps to make them barely noticeable. These are ideal for patients whose hearing is diminishing at a steady pace.
In-The-Ear (ITE) – Fits outside the ear canal, skin tone matched
ITEs mold perfectly to the ear canal’s outer entrance, thanks to their sleek, custom made design. This gives the wearer maximum hearing coverage and they tend to be comfortable to wear. They are available in a wide range of colors or you can opt for a shade to match your skin tone if you prefer a more discreet look. These are a good choice for those with mildly severe to severe hearing loss.
Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) – Perfect for first-time hearing aid wearers. Very discreet and quick to fit.
RICs are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. Nearly invisible, a receiver is placed within the ear canal. A slim casing is worn behind the ear. The two parts are connected by a thin electrical wire instead of a plastic acoustical tube. Many patients find them comfortable to wear and experience very little distortion.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) – The most common design around
BTEs are most likely what you envision when you think of hearing aids. Much like the RICs, a casing is worn behind the ear. This is where all of the technology is stored. Amplified sounds are carried to the ear mold, which is worn inside the ear canal, by a clear plastic tube. BTEs feature easy to use buttons and they are quite discreet. However you can choose from a range of colors if you wish. These are ideal for moderate to severe hearing loss.
Time and Patience
Don’t worry if it’s taking some time to adjust to your new hearing aids. Adjustment periods are different for everyone, depending on your hearing levels. But be patient and soon you will love them!
Be sure to talk to your audiologist about life with hearing aids before selecting the ones for you. Your audiologist has a wealth of knowledge about the different types and they will explain everything to you.
All About Hearing is Midland, Texas’s hearing care expert. We are committed to caring for your hearing and overall wellbeing, ensuring that you get the most out of life. To begin your journey to better hearing, phone us today at 432-689-2220.
Dr. Sally earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991 and a Master of Arts degree in 1994 at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2000 from the University of Florida. She became the first Doctor of Audiology in Midland and was among the first in the state when the requirements to practice Audiology changed from a Master’s Degree to a Doctorate. In 2011 she was recognized as Business Woman of the Year from the Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.