Experiencing hearing loss can be challenging for anyone. Losing something you took for granted can be a frustrating and stressful time. However, there are options to help you regain some of or even all the hearing loss you may be experiencing by wearing a hearing aid.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

ITE aids are worn in the outer bowl and are typically custom-fit, based on an impression taken by your audiologist during your hearing aid consultation. These styles are generally available in a variety of skin tones to match the outer ear. Some ITE hearing aids are designed to fit deep within the ear canal, while others are designed to fit closer to the outer ear.

Behind the Ear (BTE)

BTE aids are worn behind or on top of the outer ear. They use tubing to route sound down into the ear canal by a custom-fit earmold or a dome style that does not block the entire ear canal opening. BTE styles come in various colors to match your hair or skin tone and flashier designs for a more personalized look. Most ITE and BTE devices come with standard button batteries that must be replaced every three to 20 days.

In the Canal (ITC)

ITC hearing aids are comfortable and straightforward because they sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl. They have longer battery life slightly and can accommodate a broader range of hearing losses because they are bigger than invisible in canal and completely in canal. Because of their small size, they can also accommodate additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments and manual controls, such as a volume wheel, if desired. ITC aids are very discreet and often have longer battery lives than their ITE and BTE counterparts.

Invisible in Canal (IIC) and Completely in Canal (CIC)

The IIC and CIC styles are the smallest and most inconspicuous hearing aids on the market. Invisible in canal, as the name implies, IIC styles are precisely that—virtually invisible. They are inserted very deeply into the ears and removed by tugging on a small pull-out string. Completely in the canal hearing aids are similar but do not sit as deeply within the ears. These styles are usually appropriate for people who have mild to moderate hearing loss. Because of their small size, they typically do not include any manual controls, such as volume wheels or program buttons. The style of the IIC and CIC hearing aids means they are very discreet to wear and provide excellent hearing quality. However, it can make them susceptible to problems arising from contact with earwax and moisture. If you want to know what type of hearing aid is suitable for you, you can discuss your options further with an audiologist.