Hearing aids are also available in an extensive range of colours and sizes. This chart shows some of the more common hearing aid models available.
No two people have exactly the same experience with hearing loss. For this reason, there are many different models and styles of hearing devices to choose from. The choice of what hearing aid best suits the needs of someone with hearing loss comes down to a number of factors, including:
- Extent of the hearing loss
- Lifestyle considerations
- User dexterity
- Budget considerations
Hearing aids can essentially be placed in three categories.
- Custom in-the-ear models (ITE)
- Behind-the-ear (BTE)
- Receiver in the ear (RITE)
Custom in-the-ear models
- Full shell
- Half shell Canal
- Mini canal
- Completely in the canal (CIC)
- Invisible in the Canal (IIC)
Depending on the specific type, it may be more or less invisible in your ear. The size and shape of your ear canal along with your specific hearing loss determine which type of custom hearing aid is right for you.
Suitable for: mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear models (BTE)
The main section (case) of this hearing aid is hidden behind your ear and connected to a molded receiver that fits snugly in the outer ear. Your hearing healthcare professional can help you determine whether you prefer a fully automatic aid that requires no manual adjustments or a hearing aid that offers full control.
These hearing aids offer a volume control and/or push button that allow selection from multiple programs for specific performance situations.
Suitable for: all types of hearing loss
Receiver-in-Canal or Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIC or RIE)
RIC combines the advantages of the behind-the-ear and custom (in-the-ear) models. The microphone has been moved to the outer ear and is connected to the main body of the hearing aid by a thin transparent tube.
The result is a virtually invisible hearing instrument that offers Open-fitting comfort and maximum wind noise suppression.
Suitable for: mild or to moderately severe hearing loss