Comparing hearing aids can be hard if you’re unfamiliar with the numerous abbreviations commonly used to describe basic types. The following list encompasses most of the abbreviations you will come across when investigating hearing aids and presents a brief explanation of each one. The most effective approach to truly understand the distinctions is to compare them in-person, therefore if these explanations are ambiguous, please call us to stop by and explore the different alternatives.
The following hearing aid styles are given in rough order from smallest to largest
Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The Invisible-in-Canal type of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is fully invisible from the outside. IIC designs are generally not advised for the elderly, yet are a great choice for younger adults.
Extended Wear Hearing Aids – Extended wear hearing aids are hearing devices which are non-surgically inserted into the ear canal by a hearing professional. These devices are worn for one to three months at a time without being removed.
Completely in Canal (CIC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC type fits inside the ear canal making it near invisible. Due to its compact size, the CIC design typically has fewer features. For example, the Completely in Canal style doesn’t offer directional microphones.
In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC design is a compact hearing aid that 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.
In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the In-the-Ear style of hearing aid is easy to insert and appropriate for a wide variety of hearing losses. It is visible inside the ear, but its larger size offers more features, more power and an extended battery life.
Receiver In the Ear (RIE or RITE) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear model is the smallest among the externally worn hearing aids. The Receiver In the Ear style offers a tiny case that fits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear connected by a clear tube. The ear canal stays open for natural sound quality.
Open Ear / Open Fit – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) model combines 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 comes in many color options.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE style’s larger case makes a larger number of features possible and is a superior option for people with poor finger dexeterity. All of the components are within the case which is worn behind the ear. Large number of colors options are available. The BTE style is often used for children for safety and growth reasons.