Serving the Hearing Healthcare Needs of the AK Valley Since 1958

Hearing Aids: The Different Types & How They Work

hearing specialist showing her patient new hearing device models

Each and every person experiences hearing loss differently, and as a result, they require different kinds of treatment and support throughout their lives. This means that it can sometimes take a little while for hearing aid users to find the perfect hearing aid that meets their needs. 

After all, not only should the devices be functional, they should also feel comfortable, almost as though they are a natural extension of your body. This means that you will find them easier to use and wear. Thankfully, with proper research and the support of your local audiologist, it’s easier than ever to find the hearing aid that is right for you. 

With that in mind, here are the different kinds of hearing aids and technology you might want to consider. 

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

BTE hearing aids refer to hearing aids that are placed behind or on top of the user’s ear. The clip is then connected to an ear mold, which sits inside the ear canal. These styles are well suited for those who deal with more severe hearing loss due to the fact that their larger sizes often mean they are more powerful. There are a few different styles of hearing aids that you can select from. 

Mini BTE Hearing Aids

Mini BTE hearing aids mean that the receiver is placed inside the ear of the user; however, the device is often placed behind the ear – with discrete tubing carrying the sound inwards. This style means that the sound is amplified naturally through the tube, but the device itself is rather small. They are incredibly similar to receiver in ear (RIC) models, where the speaker is at the tip of the device instead of the body. 

BTE Hearing Aids with Earmolds

BTE Hearing Aids with earmolds are simply a larger version of the mini hearing aids, only with the addition of an earmold that helps them stay in place by following the natural contours of the user’s ear. This means that they can easily provide more powerful support to users. They typically include more functions than smaller devices and carry a much longer battery life. As a result, they are often advertised for use for those who deal with severe hearing loss. Finally, they are a popular model due to the fact that they are relatively easy to use and provide the user with the ability to control the device where appropriate.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

ITE hearing aids, are known for their comfort and discretion. Typically, when you select ITE hearing aids, a cast or impression will be made of your ear, ensuring that you will have a secure fit. This reduces the chances of the hearing aid getting lost or damaged, meaning they may be the perfect choice for those that engage in a particularly active lifestyle. There are various different forms of ITE Hearing aids available.

Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids.

Invisible-in-canal hearing aids are amongst the most popular style of hearing aids because they are invisible to those around you. This means that they are typically favored by younger users. Designed for mild hearing loss, the tiny device sits in the second bend of the ear canal. They work by receiving sounds as they enter your ear and amplifying them for you. 

In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

In-the-canal hearing aids are slightly larger than IICs and are typically made from a cast or impression that is placed on the lower portion of your outer ear. They can be made in a range of different shades and colors, meaning they also offer a certain degree of discretion to users. While they work in the same way as IIC hearing aids, they also include additional microphones, making it easier for you to hear in noisy environments. For example, directional microphones mean that you will not feel left out of the conversations in busy restaurants. You can also adjust the volume of the device accordingly. 

For more information on the different kinds of devices that are available or to ask any questions you might have, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. At the Rametta Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, we have decades of experience supporting patients with all manner of hearing loss. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today at (724) 567-7381.