Hearing Aid Categories

Posted on: 3 November 2015

If you need to get a hearing aid, then you have a lot of options to choose from. To help you make a more informed decision, here is a rundown on what each category can offer you:

In-the-Canal - These units are extremely small, which can be both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, ITC units are practically invisible. If the viewer doesn't know what they are looking for, they will likely never notice that you are wearing a hearing aid. Of course, their small size also means that they rest deep inside the canal, which can be pretty uncomfortable. As such, they are a bit harder to remove for cleaning or maintenance than other options. Some ITC units are labelled as CITC or completely-in-the-canal, which means that they are the smallest possible units that will rest the deepest inside your ear. If you have a small child that needs a hearing aid, you might not want to get them an ITC unit, since they will be quite a bit more uncomfortable.

In-the-Ear - ITE units are a bit larger than ITC units and they sit closer to the exterior of the ear. They are pretty visible and can be easily seen if someone is looking directly at your ear from the side. However, they will probably go unnoticed if someone is looking at your face or the back of your head. ITE units are a bit easier to access than units that rest deep inside the ear (ITCs), but they are also more uncomfortable than units that rest on the exterior of the ear. If you want to balance visibility and effectiveness with comfort, this is a reasonable middle ground.

Behind-the-Ear - For the final category, the hearing aid mostly rests outside the ear, with wires going into an earmold in the ear. This ultimately means that the hearing aids are bigger, which can translate into lower costs or higher effective power at correcting hearing. If you have extremely bad hearing, then a BTE might be much more useful to you. Since OTE units tend to rest on top of the ear via a hook, you will need to get used to a device resting on your ear whenever you wear your hearing aid. If you feel particularly uncomfortable with sticking something deep inside your ear, then a BTE is the best hearing aid for you. BTEs minimize the amount of machinery that is inside your ear, while simultaneously allowing easy access and removal.

For more informaiton, talk to a professional like Mark Montgomery MD FACS.

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