Hearing aids are available in a range of styles. Each style has specific benefits for the wearer. During your appointment, our hearing experts will explain the advantages and benefits associated with each hearing aid style suitable for your particular hearing loss and lifestyle. We will help you determine what style makes the most sense with your loss, listening environments and budget.
The BTE is a popular style worn behind the ear that connects to an earmold that rests inside the outer ear. Sound is conducted from the hearing aid into the earmold. Although this can be the largest type of hearing aid, it is also the most versatile, powerful and often the easiest to adjust.
Invisible in-the-canal (IIC)
The newest in custom hearing aid styles is a micro device that fits deep into the ear canal completely hidden from view. The capability to use this type of instrument is limited by the type of hearing loss. Additionally, most of the manufacturers accessories will not connect to this type of instrument due to circuitry and battery limitations.
This type of hearing aid fits snugly inside the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear and can be used to fit mild to severe hearing loss. Although ITE hearing aids are more visible, they are generally easier to insert and adjust and have a longer battery life than other, smaller hearing aids. Until the early 2000’s this was the most popular type of device used. We now know that these instruments plug the ear and therefore we use them a lot less these days. They are used for those that have worn this type of device in the past and patients with reduced manual dexterity. These instruments will easily connect to most manufacturers accessories.
Completely in-the-canal (CIC)
This custom hearing aid model is molded to fit completely inside your ear canal. The outer faceplate of the shell is barely visible in the ear canal. The CIC is a very discreet option that can fit a mild to moderate hearing loss. Additionally, most of the manufacturers accessories will not connect to this type of instrument due to circuitry and battery limitations.
ITC instruments are custom built for your ear, so they fit snugly and comfortably. Only the face of the device extends into the outer ear, while the body extends into your ear canal. The slightly larger design offers extra power, making the ITC a great selection for mild to mildly severe hearing loss. These instruments will easily connect to most manufacturers accessories.
The Mini RIC is the smallest RIC ever designed and is virtually unseen when worn. The Mini RIC might be tiny but it packs a punch when it comes to performance, style and one of a kind features. The Mini RIC is probably the most popular device in today’s market. It’s size, shape and benefit are the reasons this device if first choice for most people. This device easily connects to manufacturer’s accessories.
Lyric is the first extended wear invisible hearing placed deep in the ear canal, completely hidden from view and does not need to removed daily. These products do not require much adjustment to the use of hearing devices. The patient can use the phone, shower, swim and other activities without the considerations of the use of amplification. The Lyric is the only device of its kind and we have been fitting it since 2008 in our practice. It is the true 24/7 solution. Ask your audiologist during your consultation if it is the solutions for your hearing impairment.
At Audiology Associates we use the Vanish dyeing process to make that tube or receiver wire disappear. It is a process that we developed by one of our patients as a 5 year project and we are first
too have this process available in the United States. We use this process with every behind the ear hearing instrument sold in the clinic. Check out Dr. Traynor’s journal article on Vanish by clicking on this link. Vanish allows for the dyeing of the parts of the hearing ad that show to the patient’s skin color. Particularly if a person had darker skin, these parts show and are obvious. With Vanish, these components are almost invisible. Here are some before and after shots of patients that have been treated with Vanish. Now stigma of the use of hearing devices has changed drastically over the past few years. While it is much better accepted these days to use hearing aids the better that we can make these devices look the easier it is for patients to feel comfortable while using their instruments. Vanish makes the instruments more acceptable as you cannot see the visible parts of the fitting. We can match all skin colors with the process from the lightest to the darkest. Just another reason to trust the audiologists at Audiology Associates as we were definitely on the edge of technology. If your audiologist does not dye the parts of your device that show, it is likely that they do not care much about how you feel with the use of the device. Check out Dr. Traynor’s video on why audiologists should use Vanish for a more cosmetic an better fitting of hearing aids.