Types of Hearing Aids

When deciding on a hearing aid, there are many different types of configurations available to choose from. You should consider your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and your aesthetic preferences to pick the best hearing aid for you. At Newport Beach Hearing Aid Associates we will work with you to help you make the perfect decision. It’s a good idea to do some research prior to your appointment, so we’ve listed some different options in terms of fit/type, as well as basic pros and cons:

Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC): This hearing aid is inserted further into the canal than any other aid, making it essentially invisible. This type is designed for mild to moderate hearing loss and should be removed daily and reinserted each day to maintain good ear health. If you want your hearing aid to be unnoticeable, this type is a great option.

Completely-In-Canal (CIC): These are small but slightly more visible than IIC-type hearing aids. It is easier to manipulate, but it comes at a visibility cost. IIC and CIC types both provide fewer options in terms of controls (volume, microphone, etc.), and because it has to use small batteries due to its size you might be finding that you change them a lot if you use it all day every day. These hearing aids typically are recommended for mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-The-Canal (ITC): This aid much more visible than CIC and IIC hearing aids since it partially occupies the outer ear. This aid assists adults with mild to moderate loss. It is susceptible to earwax buildup, and might be difficult to adjust due to its small size. If you have dexterity issues in your hands this might not be the best option, but it is much easier to adjust than smaller devices. This is a great choice for those looking for a less visible aid with great power.

In-The-Ear (ITE): This type of hearing aid, suitable for those with mild to severe hearing loss, is fitted to the outer portion of your ear. Depending on manufacturer, it could be constructed in the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear, which is a full shell, or the bottom part, which is a half shell. They are easy to handle and can use larger batteries, which means longer battery life and easier changes. They are, however, susceptible to picking up more wind noise, and they are more visible due to their size.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE): This aid hooks over the ear and rests behind it. A tube then connects that to a custom earpiece that fits within your canal. The behind-the-ear hearing aid works for basically all types of hearing loss, and is one of the largest options.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC): This aid is similar to the behind-the-ear aid, except that a tiny wire, rather than a tube, connects a receiver/speaker into the canal, rather than the earpiece. The wire is less visible than a tube and is better at not giving away the device tucked behind the ear.

Whichever option sounds best, we here at Newport Beach Hearing Aid Associates can help you make the decision that best suits you and your lifestyle. We offer hearing tests and evaluations, different devices and products, repairs, hearing aid components, and different accessories and supplies. We proudly serve all of Orange County and beyond, including Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, Laguna Beach, Irvine, and more. Contact us today to learn more, or request an appointment online! We look forward to assisting you.