Researching hearing aids can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the large number of acronyms commonly used to identify popular styles. This list encompasses the majority of the abbreviations you are likely to encounter when looking at hearing aids and provides a short description of each one. The very best approach to fully grasp the differences is to compare them in-person, therefore if any of these explanations are ambiguous, be sure to call us to stop by and examine the different choices.
What follows is an alphabetical list of popular hearing aid types
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s larger external case enables many advanced features and is a good choice for anyone with poor finger dexeterity. All of the component parts are within the external case which is worn behind the ear. BTE hearing aids are available in wide range of colors. This type is frequently used for small children for safety and growth reasons.
- Completely in Canal (CIC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC design fits inside the ear canal making it close to invisible. Because of its compact size, the Completely in Canal hearing aid may have fewer features. For instance, the Completely in Canal style doesn’t offer directional microphones.
- Half Shell (HS) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the Half Shell is a small hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is partially visible. Because it is slightly larger than the models which fit further into in the ear canal, added features such as directional microphones are possible with the Half Shell hearing aidstyle.
- In the Ear (ITE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the In-the-Ear style of hearing aid is a good choice for a wide variety of hearing losses and is easy to handle. The ITE is visible inside the ear, but its larger size offers more functionality, more power and a superior battery life.
- In the Canal (ITC) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the In-the-Canal design is a small hearing aid which fits inside the ear canal and is externally visible. Because it is slightly larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, directional microphones are possible with the In-the-Canal style.
- Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The Invisible-in-Canal style of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is fully invisible from the outside. IIC styles are typically not suggested for the elderly, but are a wonderful option for younger adults.
- Open Ear / Open Fit – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Ear (also called Open Fit) model blends an exterior hearing aid case that sits behind the ear and a clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Fit model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and is available in various color options.
- Receiver In the Ear (RIE or RITE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear design is the smallest of the externally worn hearing aids. The Receiver In the Ear style brings together a very small case that fits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear connected by a flexible clear tube. The ear canal stays open for natural sound quality.
- Power – Designed for people with profound hearing loss, the Power style hearing aid comes with a larger case that sits behind the ear. The larger size allows it to provide the most amplification making use of the most powerful modern technological innovations.