Styles of Hearing Aids

With so many different types of hearing aids, it can be confusing to decide which is best for you. To determine what kind of hearing aid is an optimum fit for your needs, it is best to visit an audiologist. To learn more about your options, we have provided detailed information below.

Preferred hearing aid styles:

Most individuals choose ITE (approximately 80%) or BTE (approximately 20%) style hearing aids.

  • ITE - in-the-ear, including in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
  • BTE - behind-the-ear

The ITE style hearing aid fits directly into the external ear.

Hearing Aids Style ITEHearing Aids Style ITCHearing Aids Style CIC

The circuitry is housed primarily in the concha (external) portion of the ear. Due to the miniaturization of the component parts (including the microphone, receiver and battery), it is possible to make hearing aids small enough to fill only a portion of the concha (ITC) or fit deeply into the ear canal (CIC). All three of these styles have typically been considered to be more modern and cosmetically appealing. However, modern BTE hearing aids have become smaller and at times are less noticeable than some ITC hearing aids. Other features of in-the-ear instruments are listed below.

  • ITEs offer a more secure fit, and easier insertion and removal than BTEs.
  • ITEs can offer improved cosmetic benefits due to their smaller styles (CIC, ITC).
  • Less wind noise in the smaller styles of ITEs than with BTEs.
  • Directional microphone technology is available for most styles, excluding CICs.
  • Deep microphone and receiver placement with CICs may result in increased battery life and high frequency amplification compared with other styles.
  • All components are integrated into a one-piece shell, which may be easier to handle and operate than BTE styles.

The BTE style hearing aid is housed in a small curved case which fits behind the ear and is attached to a custom earpiece molded to the shape of your outer ear.

Hearing Aids Style BTE W/Earmold           Hearing Aids Style BTE W/Small Tubing

Some BTE models do not use a custom earpiece; instead the rubber tubing is inserted directly into the ear. The case is typically flesh colored, but can be obtained in many colors and/or patterns. BTEs offer other advantages and features that are listed below.

  • BTEs may be the most appropriate choice for young children, as only the earmold needs to be replaced periodically as the child grows and the ear changes in dimension.
  • Typically, BTEs are the most powerful hearing aid style available, and may be the best option for persons with severe-to-profound hearing loss.
  • FM and direct auditory input is routinely available as an optional or standard feature.
  • Telecoil circuitry is often more powerful than the circuitry used with ITEs.
  • Non-occluding earmolds may be used with BTE hearing aids, if a medical condition exists or if the patient reports a “plugged” sensation when wearing other hearing aid styles.
  • Directional microphone technology is available with most BTE styles and models.
  • Larger battery sizes used in BTEs may be easier to handle than smaller styles for those with limited manual dexterity or vision deficits.

Click Here for a Brief Guide to Modern Hearing Aid Technology

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Source....Photos and Contents Better Hearing Institute