A Breakdown of the Common Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Modern models come in a range of shapes and sizes to address various degrees of hearing loss and different aesthetic preferences. Many devices offer cutting-edge technological features, like Bluetooth connectivity and active noise cancellation. Reviewing the different types of hearing aids that are on the market can help patients make informed decisions that will improve their quality of life.

Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids

A group of older people sitting at an outdoor table

Commonly known as BTE aids, behind-the-ear models feature a casing behind the ear that holds the controls, directional microphones, and a battery that’s disposable or rechargeable. The casing connects to the earmold with a clear tube. BTE hearing aids are a smart choice for children who have hearing loss because parents can keep the same casing while upgrading the earmold as their child gets older. Many people who choose a BTE aid appreciate that they can change its color to match their skin tone or make a fashion statement. These versatile hearing aids are appropriate for individuals who have mild to profound hearing loss.

Receiver-in-Canal Hearing Aids

With receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids, the receiver goes inside the ear canal rather than behind the ear. A very thin wire inside a clear tube runs from this receiver to a smaller casing behind the ear for a more discreet experience than with a BTE hearing aid. These aids, which are also available in a range of colors, can be used to aid mild to severe hearing loss.

In-the-Canal Hearing Aids

Individuals who have moderate to severe hearing loss can benefit from this nearly invisible type of hearing aid. As the name suggests, the in-the-canal (ITC) aid fits entirely within the ear canal. All of the components are housed in a custom, lightweight plastic casing. An even smaller version, a completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid, can be used to aid mild to moderate hearing loss.

At Associated Hearing Professionals, we provide comprehensive audiology services for patients who have hearing loss in the St. Louis area. We offer hearing tests to evaluate your current level of hearing and recommend the best type of hearing aid for your needs. To schedule an appointment at one of our two locations, call 636-778-9232 today.