Looking for the best hearing aids will expose you to a number of different styles, including receiver-in-canal (RIC). RIC hearing aids are related to the more common behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but they provide some benefits that BTE aids cannot. This short article explores some of the main pros and cons of the receiver in canal hearing aid style.
Two standard types of hearing aid (behind-the-ear and in-the-ear) are designed to keep the device component all in one case (behind the ear and in the ear respectively). RIC devices use a different strategy, separating the device’s components into two sections. The case behind the ear contains the amplifier and microphone. The receiver is separate in a small bud which fits in the ear canal. The receiver is connected to the case by a thin tube.
There are several advantages associated with separating the receiver from the microphone and amplifier. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC hearing aid wearers have fewer problems with feedback. They also report fewer problems stemming from occlusion of the ear canal. These devices also tend to procedure a more natural sound, allowing listeners to enjoy a more comfortable experience. RIC hearing aids are favored by people with mild to moderate hearing losses because they amplify high-pitched sounds very well.
There is also a physical advantage to the RIC’s split configuration. Because it is split in two parts, this type of hearing aid is unobtrusive and easy to obscure. This small size also makes it very comfortable and easy to fit.
No device is perfect, and RIC aids do have some disadvantages. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. Because they are so comfortable they are actually easier to lose: if you are not used to feeling them in your ear, you may not notice when they are gone. Lastly, this style of hearing aid is often higher in price than its cousins, so some shoppers may have difficulty fitting them into their budgets.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular receiver in canal style. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about RIC and other styles of hearing aids.