At Platinum Hearing Aids, our mission is to help everyone in the Dearborn, Southfield, & Detroit, MI area achieve vibrant, crystal-clear hearing. For those suffering from hearing loss, hearing aids can provide a convenient, effective way to restore hearing – but there are many types of aids available, and it can be difficult to know which is the best for you. Ultimately, it comes down to finding the best aid for your unique situation and the degree of your hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids come in a variety of types and styles, and each is best-suited to a different level of hearing loss. You should choose a design based on the intensity of your hearing loss and how inconspicuous you want your aid to be. Types of hearing aids include:
- Completely In the Canal (CIC): The smallest and least visible type of hearing aid, these fit entirely into your hearing canal. While they're almost completely invisible, they can't correct severe hearing loss, require tiny batteries that can be difficult to handle, and have shorter battery life and fewer features than other types.
- In The Canal (ITC): This type of aid is custom-molded to your ear and fits partially into your ear canal. While it's not as covert as a CIC, ITC aids are less visible than many other styles. These aids can contain more features than CIC hearing aids, but they may be difficult to adjust due to size.
- In The Ear (ITE): An in the ear hearing aid may fill the entire bowl-shaped area of your ear (called a full shell) or only the smaller inner section (half shell). ITE aids are more visible than ITC aids, but they can also correct severe hearing loss and include more robust features.
- Behind The Ear (BTE): A behind-the-ear hearing aid hooks behind the ear and has a small tube that runs into the molded piece that fits in the ear canal. These aids are generally larger than other models, but also can have stronger amplification and more features – plus, some newer models are slim and barely visible behind the ear. These aids can correct almost any degree of hearing loss.
- Receiver In Canal (RIC): These aids are essentially the same as behind-the-ear hearing aids, with the only difference being that instead of a tube running into the ear, a tiny wire connects the amplification device to the speaker (receiver), which sits in the canal.
- Open Fit: This model also uses essentially the same design as behind-the-ear aids, but instead of a tube connecting the amplifier to a molded earpiece, the tube simply sits in the ear and leaves the ear canal open. This allows ambient sound to enter the ear naturally, blending with amplified sound from the hearing aid. This style may be appropriate for people with certain types of hearing loss.