Hearing Aid Types
Extended Wear - These aids are placed entirely inside the ear canal by a trained hearing professional. They are worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for-months-at-a-time. They can be worn during all daily activities and there are no batteries to change, no maintenance is needed and no daily insertion or removal is required.
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) - Entirely hidden within the ear canal, tiny CIC models take advantage of the ear's natural ability to collect sound. Using custom impressions, CIC hearing aids are molded and custom fitted to the exact dimensions of a patient's ear canal. CIC models use very small batteries, so good manual dexterity is required.
In-the-Canal (ITC) - ITC style hearing aids are worn in the lower portion of the outer ear, near the entrance of the ear canal. Their medium size makes them relatively discreet while offering a secure fit, easy insertion and removal, and longer battery life. They are typically custom molded.
In-the-Ear (ITE) - ITE style hearing devices fully fill the outer ear bowl. Their larger size accommodates special controls often located on the outside of the hearing aid, such as directional microphones. The larger battery can power a bigger receiver (speaker), making this style ideal for more profound hearing losses.
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) - A RIC hearing aid is comprised of a very small casing that sits behind the ear. The casing houses all of the electronic components of the hearing aid except for the receiver (speaker). This allows the casing to be extremely small, so it's barely visible. A very thin clear tube carries very thin wires to the speaker, which rests in your ear canal.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) - As a result of technological advances, BTE style hearing aids account for the majority of hearing aids sold in the United States today. A BTE instrument is curved to rest directly behind the ear. By matching flesh tone or hair color, BTE shells are easy to hide. A BTE instrument connects to the ear canal via a thin clear tube or a custom-designed ear mold.