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In-the-ear or behind-the-ear hearing aids

Mar, 22, 2024
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How do you find the right hearing aid?

Hearing aids are compact electronic devices designed to improve the hearing ability of individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. These devices are available in several modes, each tailored to meet a wide range of personal needs, varying in price, size, features, ear placement and visibility. Let's explore the different models available on the market. 

Types of hearing aids

The most common types of hearing aids are BTE (behind the ear), RITE (receiver in the ear), and ITE (in the ear). These devices offer a range of options to suit specific hearing requirements. 

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In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

In-the-ear hearing aids ensure a snug and secure fit, enhancing both comfort and functionality. Custom-made to fit the shape and size of your ear canal, they are discreetly inserted into the ear, rendering them practically invisible to the naked eye.

The three types of in-the-ear hearing aids

There are three types of in-the-ear hearing aids; the standard ITE (In-the-ear) model, where is inserted into the ear canal; the ITC (In-the-canal) model, which is placed directly in the ear canal; the CIC (Completely In Canal) model, which features a thin nylon string to easily pull them out of the ear canal. 

Who are ITE hearing aids recommended for?

ITE hearing aids are a popular choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. While they may come with a slightly higher price tag compared to other types of hearing aids, these devices offer a comfortable fit and discreet design.

Pros of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

Due to their compact size, ITE hearing aids is a lightweight and practical solution for individuals looking for an aesthetic, discreet yet efficient solution. These devices offer several advantages, including:

  1.  Discretion: their snug fit within the ear canal makes ITE hearing aids virtually invisible to others.
  2. Clear, Natural Sound: despite their compact size, ITE hearing aids are capable of transmitting sound with remarkable clarity so wearers can enjoy a natural listening experience across various environments.
  3. Comfort: ITE hearing aids are custom-made to fit the wearer's ear canal, providing a comfortable and secure fit, making them particularly suitable for individuals who waer glasses or play sports.

Cons of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

While ITE (In-the-ear) hearing aids offer numerous benefits, it is important to consider some of its disadvantages:

  1. Limited Suitability: ITE hearing aids are best suited for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.
  2. Higher Cost: compared to other types of hearing aids, ITE models tend to be more expensive due to their custom design and size.
  3. Reduced Battery Life: due to their compact size, ITE hearing aids have less battery life compared to larger models

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids house all components behind the ear, connecting a custom-made earmold that fits securely inside the ear canal connected by a thin, clear tube. They come in a wide range of colors and designs, allowing users to select a model that complements their personal style and matches their complexion.

Who are BTE hearing aids recommended for?

BTE hearing aids are ideal for people with moderate to severe hearing loss, especially for individuals with small ear canals or limited dexterity. Due to recent advancements in technology, BTE models are now smaller and more discreet than traditional models, featuring slimmer and slimmer casings.

Pros of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

The main advantages of BTE hearing aids include:

 

  1. Ease of Adjustment and Cleaning: known for their user-friendly design, BTE hearing aids are easy to adjust and maintain.
  2. Longer Lasting Battery: BTE hearing aids typically feature larger batteries compared to other types of hearing aids, resulting in longer battery life, reducing the frequency of battery replacements.
  3. Greater Power: BTE hearing aids are know for their powerful amplification capabilities, making them suitable for individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss.

Cons of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

The biggest disadvantage when choosing this type of hearing aid is that it may be more noticeable when worn. Its less discrete nature is due to its considerably larger size compared to other types of hearing aids.
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Receiver-in-the-ear-canal (RIC) hearing aids

Behind-the-ear placement characterizes RIC hearing aids, which feature a slender wire connecting them to a speaker inside the ear canal. Their discreet design ensures they are less conspicuous than traditional counterparts, offering a harmonious balance of efficiency and aesthetics. Furthermore, they excel in adaptability, effortlessly conforming to the unique contours of any ear canal.

Who are RIC hearing aids recommended for?

The main advantages of RIC hearing aids include:

  1. Comfort: the receiver is covered with a silicone sleeve so it can fit in any ear canal.
  2. Discreet design: RIC hearing aids are small and fit behind the ear.
  3. User-friendly: RIC hearing aids can be customised and are easy to use, which is why they are ideal for first-time users.

Pros of RIC hearing aids

The main advantages of RIC hearing aids include:

  1. Comfort: the receiver is covered with a silicone sleeve so it can fit in any ear canal.
  2. Discreet design: RIC hearing aids are small and fit behind the ear.
  3. User-friendly: RIC hearing aids can be customised and are easy to use, which is why they are ideal for first-time users.

Cons of RIC hearing aids

The biggest disadvantage of RIC hearing aids is that they susceptible to moisture and earwax building and therefore users need to regularly clean and maintain their devices to ensure optimal functionality.

Which hearing aid is considered the best?

When choosing your hearing aids, it is important to not only consider your hearing needs, but also your style preferences and lifestyle needs. Consult a hearing care professional for personalised guidance in finding the right solution for you.

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