Picking out hearing aids can be hard if you are not familiar with the many acronyms commonly used to describe common styles. This collection encompasses the vast majority of the abbreviations you are likely to encounter when looking for hearing aids and offers a brief explanation of each one. The ideal approach to really grasp the differences is to compare them in-person, so if these explanations are unclear, please contact us to come in and examine the various choices.
The list below is presented alphabetically.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s larger external case makes extra features feasible and is a superior option for anyone with poor finger dexterity. All of the component parts are within the external case which is worn behind the ear. Large number of colors options are offered. The BTE style is often used for young children for growth and safety reasons.
Completely in Canal (CIC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC design fits inside the ear canal making it close to invisible. Due to its compact size, the CIC style typically has fewer features. For instance, the Completely in Canal style does not have space for directional microphones.
Deep Canal (DC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the DC style fits deep inside the ear canal making it invisible. It has less occlusion than other types but isn’t appropriate for all patients especially individuals with a narrow ear canal. Because of its small size, the Deep Canal style may have fewer features. For instance, the DC style doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
Extended Wear Hearing Aids – Extended wear hearing aids are positioned in the ear canal by a hearing professional. These devices are worn for 1 to 3 months at a time without being removed.
Half Shell (HS) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the Half Shell is a custom molded hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is partly visible. Because it is slightly larger than the styles which fit deeper in the ear canal, additional benefits such as directional microphones are possible with the Half Shell hearing aid style.
In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the In-the-Ear style of hearing aid is a good choice for numerous hearing losses and is very easy to handle. The ITE hearing aid is visible inside the ear, but its larger size allows for more features, additional power and a better battery life.
In the Canal (ITC) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the In-the-Canal style is a small hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is visible from the outside. Being somewhat larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, directional microphones are possible with the In-the-Canal style.
Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The IIC style of hearing aid fits inside the ear canal completely and is invisible from the outside. IIC designs are typically not suggested for elderly users, but are a great choice in middle age.
Open Ear / Open Fit – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Ear (also called Open Fit) model brings together an exterior hearing aid case that rests behind the ear and a clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Ear/Open Fit model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and comes in several colors.
Receiver In the Ear (RITE) or (RIE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the RIE/RITE design is the smallest among the externally worn hearing aids. The Receiver In the Ear style offers a very small case that sits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear connected by a flexible tube. The ear canal is open for natural sound quality.
Power – Formulated for individuals with profound hearing loss, the Power type hearing aid comes with a larger case that sits behind the ear. The greater physical size allows it to offer the greatest levels of sound amplification taking advantage of the most powerful modern technological innovations.