mature woman getting hearing aids at a hearing clinic

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing Aid Types and How They Work

If you or a loved one has decided to try treating your hearing loss through the use of hearing aids, you might feel overwhelmed with the number of styles you have to choose from. While your hearing healthcare provider will help you decide on the best hearing aids for your specific hearing loss, you’ll feel more comfortable with the added knowledge of the different types of hearing technology and how they differ.

Here are a few of the most common types and styles of hearing aids:

In-the-Ear (ITE)

ITE hearing aids are typically custom fit devices that sit entirely in your ear canal and sometimes a part of your outer ear. Depending on the style of ITE hearing aid, they can be used to treat hearing loss that ranges from mild to severe. Styles of in-the-ear hearing aids include:

  • In-the-canal (ITC) – These ITE hearing aids usually sit in your ear canal with a portion of the device sitting in your outer ear.
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) – CIC devices are usually smaller and more discreet than other types of hearing aids. They sit entirely within your ear canal and are therefore less visible.
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) – IIC devices are the smallest and least visible hearing aid. They’re also sometimes referred to as “mini-CIC” hearing aids. They sit deeper in your ear canal than CIC hearing aids.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

BTE hearing aids have a portion of the device that sits behind or around the top of your ear and is connected with a tube or wire to a portion that sits in your ear. These can treat most types of hearing loss, including profound hearing loss. Styles of behind-the-ear hearing aids include:

  • Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) – These devices have a processor and microphone that sits behind your ear and connects to an ear dome speaker in your ear canal.
  • BTE with earmold – BTE with earmold hearing aids use an earmold, instead of an ear dome, that is custom fit to your ear shape.

There are many different factors to consider when deciding on the type of hearing aid that is best for you. You and your hearing healthcare provider will consider your type of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your goals for your hearing health. With the right information and guidance from your provider, you’ll be able to choose a hearing aid that helps you live a more connected and fulfilled life.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, call our office to schedule a test to determine if you could be helped by a hearing aid.