Hearing Loss: Hearing Device Sizes and Styles
Audiologists Dr. Rajool Dave, AuD, FAAA and Karen Herring, MS, FAAA can help patients in Central New Jersey and Plainsboro determine the optimal size and style hearing aid.
The Types of Hearing Devices
Hearing devices are not one-size-fit- all, which means there are a variety of styles, sizes, and technologies available to ensure your comfort and optimal function.
Invisible in the Canal (IIC) – Invisible hearing devices are custom made to fit your ear and rest in the second bend of the ear canal, which is not visible to other people. IIC hearing aids are ideal for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss with good manual dexterity.
Completely in the Canal (CIC) –These devices are custom made and are hardly visible. They help patients with mild to moderate hearing loss with good manual dexterity.
In the Canal (ITC) – An ITC hearing device is custom made to fit your ear. The smaller portion shows in the outer ear to accommodate a longer battery life. ITC hearing devices help with mild to moderate hearing loss. They can also have ‘direct to iPhone’ capability.
Full Shell (FS) – A hearing device that fills the outer ear bowl is called a Full Shell hearing device. FS hearing devices help with mild to severe hearing loss and are easier to manage for those with dexterity limits. They can also have ‘direct to iPhone’ capability.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – Traditional BTE hearing devices hook over the top of the ear and are held in the ear by a custom ear mold. They are very good for people with dexterity limits and can fit mild to profound hearing loss.
Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIC) – Ideal for any level of hearing loss, RIC or Open Fit hearing devices are the most popular devices being dispensed today due to their natural sound quality, light weight and discrete appearance. A tiny speaker sits in the ear canal. It is connected to the small behind-ear device by an almost invisible wire. They can also have ‘direct to iPhone’ capability. Also, instead of changing a tiny battery weekly these devices can be rechargeable and the battery will last for over a year.
Choosing a Device Based on Your Degree of Hearing Loss
In order for a hearing aid to function at top performance, it is important that the device matches your current hearing abilities.
Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
If you have mild to moderate hearing loss you should consider the following types of devices:
- Invisible in the Canal (IIC)
- Completely in the Canal (CIC)
- In the Canal (ITC)
- Receiver in the Canal (RIC)
Mild to Severe Hearing Loss
If you have mild to severe hearing loss you should consider the following types of devices:
- Full Shell (FS)
- Receiver in the Canal (RIC)
- Traditional Behind the Ear (BTE)
Ultimately a recommendation from a professional is the best method of determining which type of hearing aid is right for your needs. Contact Princeton Otolaryngology Associates and make an appointment to speak with our experienced team. Our office serves patients in the Central New Jersey area, including Plainsboro.