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What is the Best Style of Hearing Aids?

a hearing specialist is showing her client some common hearing aid styles

If you’re ready to start using a hearing aid to improve your hearing then there are a number of different styles to choose from.  But if you’re wondering which one is the best, that’s a difficult question to answer. Different people prefer different types that fit in with their lifestyle. 

Here are the main styles of hearing aid that your Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) might recommend. 

In-The-Ear (ITE)

Suitable for most types of hearing loss, the ITE style of hearing aid is relatively small and discreet. Most makes are custom fitted by taking a mold of your ear. You can choose to have the color of the hearing aid matched to your skin or pick a bolder color to make a style statement. 

There are a number of different types of hearing aids that are classed as ITE. These can include hearing aids that cover the entire ear bowl or are almost completely invisible. 

Behind-The-Ear (BTE)

Common for people with higher levels of hearing loss, or who do not like to have something in their ear canal. The BTE style of hearing aid sits behind the ear, with a tube of clear plastic that goes from the hearing aid and into an earpiece that goes to your ear canal, relaying the sound. 

Though these are some of the larger styles of hearing aids available on the market, the size of them has reduced considerably over time, so they are only a fraction of the size of the ones available in the 80s, the type you might be thinking about when these are mentioned. 

In-The-Canal (ITC)

These are slightly larger than ITE hearing aids and smaller than the BTE styles. They are suitable for mild to moderate levels of hearing loss and can incorporate a range of advanced features as well as a more powerful microphone to pick up better sound quality. 

Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC)

Completely invisible when worn, the IIC is the most discreet option on the market today. Suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, these are a popular option for many. The extremely small nature of the hearing aid may not be suitable if you have problems with dexterity or sight, or if you require something with long battery life. 

Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)

Unless someone is looking directly in your ear, they won’t know that you’re wearing a CIC hearing aid. A mold is taken of your ear to ensure a perfect fit and comfort for you. They have a longer battery life than an IIC hearing aid. 

How to choose the right hearing aid

Your hearing instrument specialist will work with you to understand your lifestyle and what you typically do in a day. They’ll then recommend the style best suited to you. 

Most types of hearing aid can be equipped with very advanced features including Bluetooth integration, tinnitus care, feedback reduction, telecoil, program settings. Whether or not you will benefit from these features is again something that you will need to think about before choosing a hearing aid.