If you suffer from hearing loss, whether it be slight or profound, the options for improving your hearing have significantly increased over the past few years. Gone are the days of clunky beige appendages that spent more time amplifying the sound of the washing machine than the people who were actually trying to talk to you.
What are the different types of hearing aids?
There is now a wide variety of hearing aid types, each suited to a different lifestyle and hearing requirement. To find out more about all of the different types of hearing aids click through our links below or contact us today to arrange your free hearing test and consultation with one of our network of expert local audiologists. The perfect hearing aid for you is out there, now all you need to do is decide which one it is!
Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids are probably the closest thing that you would think of to the image of a traditional hearing aid. They have a case that sits behind your ear which is then connected to a small tube that passes over your ear and then connects to a custom-made ear mould. However these days they are much smaller than many people imagine and often come in a range of colours to blend seamlessly with your hair/skin tone.
Also sometimes referred to as Receiver In-Ear (RIE) this type of hearing aid has represented somewhat of a revolution in hearing aid technology. They are loosely based on the Behind The Ear (BTE) design, however, there are two crucial differences; firstly the receiver/speaker is situated directly in the ear canal with the microphone and processor then sitting separately behind the ear, and secondly the traditional ear mould has been replaced with an open dome that does not block or occlude the ear canal.
These hearing aids can also be called Full Shell. They consist of a single piece that completely fills the outer ear. This means that they can be more conspicuous, however they are also easier to adjust (i.e. changing volume or switching programmes) so are great for people with dexterity issues. They can also hold a bigger battery and thus are suited for hearing aid types that need more power.
This type of hearing aid is also sometimes referred to as Half Shell. They are slightly smaller than an In The Ear (ITE) hearing aid, fitting just into the entrance of the ear canal. They tend to be most suited for people with slight to moderate hearing loss as more of the ear bowl itself is left open and thus able to perform its natural function.
Again suited for people with slight to moderate hearing loss, Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids fit neatly into your ear canal meaning that they are very discreet and inconspicuous. A mould of your ear is taken and each CIC hearing aid is then formed to fit exactly into your ear canal, making them very comfortable to wear.
IIC hearing aids are the smallest and most inconspicuous type of hearing aid available. They fit deeper into the ear canal than Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids meaning that they are completely invisible when worn. They are custom made from a mould of your inner ear which the hearing aid is then shaped to fit, so that for many people the only way that they know that they are wearing it is because their hearing is better!
These are a relatively new addition to the hearing aid market and are designed for people with severe to profound hearing loss. Their design is based on the Behind The Ear (BTE) or sometimes on the Open / Receiver in Ear (Open / RIC) style of hearing aid, but often with a larger receiver and a full ear mould, instead of the usual smaller ear dome. This enhanced design allows for much greater amplification of sound, but also control of feedback and whistling noises that often come with higher-powered hearing aids.
To view full details of each type of hearing aid in more detail, learn more by clicking on the links below:
Behind the Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
Open and Receiver in Canal Hearing Aids (Open / RIC)
In the Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)
In the Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)
Completely In the Canal Hearing Aids (CIC)
Invisible in the Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)
Super Power Hearing Aids
Need more support?
To find out more about each hearing aid type and what may be best for you contact our experts today and arrange for your free hearing test with one of our network of qualified local audiologists. Call us free on 0800 567 7721 to speak to one of our audiology experts about this article or any other hearing healthcare inquiries. Alternatively, you can fill out the form below and one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible.