As you research hearing aids – either for a loved one or yourself – one of the more common alternatives you will come across is the in-the-ear (ITE) style. In-the-ear hearing aids are a popular choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are custom-made to fit comfortably in the lower portion of the outer ear. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of ITE hearing aids.
An in-the-ear hearing aid is a small device that is custom-made to fit your ear shape. If you choose to use this type of device, your hearing professional will use a mold to make sure it fits your ear perfectly. This tailor-fit is to ensure that the aid produces high quality sound and to eliminate feedback, but it offers the additional advantage of being very comfortable. Unlike behind-the-ear devices, in-the-ear hearing aids don’t require any tubes or wires: all the device’s components are included in a single case. As a result, ITE devices are light and extremely comfortable.
ITE devices are especially capable of picking up high-frequency sounds. Unlike a behind-the-ear model, these devices can take advantage of the outer ear‚Äôs ability to collect and focus high frequency sound waves. ITE devices are also recessed far enough into the ear that headsets and telephones can usually be used normally. This type of hearing aid‚Äôs small size can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Small size is good for wearers that wish to disguise their hearing aid. But, the small size also limits the size of the battery and optional features that can be included inside the case. Handling the device and changing the battery inside requires good finger dexterity and eyesight.
As with all the hearing aid styles available, in-the-ear hearing aid has both advantages and disadvantages. A hearing aid specialist can help you evaluate your options and make recommendations based on your needs and preferences.