Purchasing hearing aids can be hard if you’re not familiar with the large number of acronyms used to identify basic types. The following collection includes most of the abbreviations you are likely to run into when investigating hearing aids and provides a brief explanation of each one. The very best approach to really understand the distinctions is to see them side-by-side, so if some of these explanations are not clear, be sure to call us to visit and explore the different styles.
The following hearing aid types are listed in alphbetical order
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE style’s larger external case enables many advanced features and is a superb choice for anyone that has poor finger dexeterity. All of the component parts are inside the external case which is worn behind the ear. Many colors options are available. The BTE type is often chosen for children for safety and growth reasons.
- Completely in Canal (CIC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC style fits inside the ear canal making it near invisible. Because of its compact size, the CIC style may have fewer features. For example, the Completely in Canal type doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
- Deep Canal (DC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the DC style fits deep inside the ear canal and is invisible. The Deep Canal style has less occlusion than other styles but is not suitable for all patients particularly individuals with a narrow ear canal. Because of its compact size, the DC style may have fewer features. For example, the DC style doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
- In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the ITE design of hearing aid is very easy to insert and appropriate for a wide variety of hearing losses. The ITE hearing aid is visible inside the ear, but its larger size offers more features, additional power and a better battery life.
- In the Canal (ITC) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the In-the-Canal design is a small hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is externally visible. Because it is slightly larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, directional microphones are possible with the In-the-Canal style.
- Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The IIC style of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is invisible from the outside. IIC designs are generally not suggested for the elderly, but are an excellent option for younger adults.
- Open Ear / Open Fit – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) design combines an external hearing aid case that fits behind the ear and a clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Ear/Open Fit model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and comes in various color options.
- Receiver In the Ear (RITE) or (RIE) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear model is the smallest of the hearing aids work externally. The Receiver In the Ear style offers a tiny case that fits behind the ear and a receiver placed inside the ear connected by a flexible tube. The ear canal stays open for natural sound quality.