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BTE Hearing Aid

Behind The Ear

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss

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Behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible

  • Has directional microphones

  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles

  • May pick up more wind noise than do other styles

  • May be available with a rechargeable battery.

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RIC/RIE Hearing Aid

Receiver in Canal or Receiver in the Ear

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver that sits in the ear canal. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.

Receiver-in-canal hearing aid:

  • Typically has a less visible behind-the-ear portion

  • Has directional microphones

  • Has manual control options

  • May be available with rechargeable battery

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

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ITC HEARING AID

In The Canal

An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles

  • Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but may be difficult to adjust due to its small size

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

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CIC HEARING AID

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type

  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise

  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle

  • Often doesn't include extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone

  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

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IIC HEARING AID

Invisible in the canal (IIC)

Rest in the second bend of the ear canal where no one can see them.

Completely-invisible-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Custom-fit to your ear

  • The smallest, most discreet hearing aid made

  • Rests deep in the second bend of your ear canal

  • Small size may be challenging to wearers with dexterity issues

  • Small batteries require more frequent changing

  • Small size cannot accommodate manual volume or memory controls

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