Hearing Aid Types and Styles
There are many types and styles of hearing aids. The kind and degree of hearing loss, power requirements and options, manual dexterity abilities, cost factors, and cosmetic concerns are some of the factors that will determine the exact hearing aid type and style the patient will use. The most common types and styles are listed below:
ITE or In-The-Ear - These hearing aids are probably the most comfortable, the least expensive and the easiest to operate. They are also the largest of the custom made styles.
ITC or In The Canal - These hearing aids are a little more expensive than ITEs. They require good dexterity to control the volume wheels and other controls on the faceplate and they are smaller than ITEs.
MC or Mini-Canals - These hearing aids the size between ITC and CIC. A mini canal is a good choice when you desire the smallest possible hearing aid while still having manual control over the volume wheel and possibly other controls.
CIC or Completely-In-the-Canal - These hearing aids are the tiniest hearing aids made. They usually require a "removal string" due to their small size and the fact that they fit deeply into the ear canal. CICs can be difficult to remove without the pull string. CICs do not usually have manual controls attached to them because they are too small.
BTE, BE or Behind-The-Ear - These hearing aids are the largest hearing aids and they are very reliable. BTEs have the most circuit options and they typically offer much more power than custom made units. BTEs are the units that rest on the back of your ear. They are connected to the ear canal via custom-made plastic tubing. The tubing is part of the earmold. The earmold is custom made from an ear impression to perfectly replicate the size and shape of your ear.
PAC or Post Auricular Canal - This is a new hearing aid design which physically separates the processor from the receiver/speaker. This design offers comfort and acoustic options as the tiny processor is placed behind the ear, and the receiver/speaker is placed deep in the ear canal.