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What are the differences in hearing aid styles?

BTE: Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have the majority of its parts resting behind the ear. In the piece behind the ear is a small, clear plastic tub that is connected to the part that rests inside the ear. The wearer can either have a custom ear mold (the part that sends the sound to the ear is shaped to the ear canal) or a tiny speaker piece that goes in the ear canal. These devices are small and discreet. Because the majority of parts are outside of the ear canal, repairs are needed less since the device isn’t as susceptible to moisture and earwax build up.

ITE: In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids rests entirely in the ear canal. A mold of the ear canal is taken in order to create a custom shape to make sure the hearing aid fits properly. While this customization is available in a few different styles of hearing aids, ITEs are the largest of the custom aids. It may be more visible, but only marginally so, and that allows more technology to be included in the device.

ITC: In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are another type that utilizes the custom ear mold. Smaller than ITEs, ITCs have less power so they are not suitable for severe types of hearing loss. These also may be a little more challenging to use for those with dexterity difficulties.

CIC: Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) devices are extremely small in size and fit farther into the ear canal, making them less visible. Because of their small size the user must have fairly good dexterity to insert and remove these from the ear.


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