Comparing hearing aids can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the numerous acronyms commonly used to identify popular types. The following list encompasses the vast majority of the acronyms you will run into when investigating hearing aids and presents a brief description of each. The ideal way to truly grasp the distinctions is to see them side-by-side, therefore if any of these explanations are not clear, you should contact us to visit and explore the various types.
The list below is presented alphabetically.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s larger case makes a greater number of features possible and is a superb option for people that has poor finger dexeterity. All of the components are within the external case which is worn behind the ear. BTE hearing aids come in wide range of colors. The BTE type is frequently used for children for growth and safety reasons.
- Completely in Canal (CIC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC style fits inside the ear canal making it near invisible. Because of its small size, the Completely in Canal style may have fewer features. For example, the Completely in Canal style does not offer directional microphones.
- Deep Canal (DC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the Deep Canal design fits deep inside the ear canal making it invisible. It provides less occlusion than other styles but is not suitable for all patients particularly those with a narrow ear canal. Due to its compact size, the Deep Canal design typically has fewer features. For instance, the Deep Canal type doesn’t offer directional microphones.
- Extended Wear Hearing Aids – Extended wear hearing aids are hearing devices which are non-surgically placed in the ear canal by a hearing specialist. These devices are worn for 1 to 3 months at a time without being removed.
- Half Shell (HS) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the Half Shell is a small hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is partially visible. Being somewhat larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, added features such as directional microphones are feasible with the Half Shell hearing aid design.
- In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the ITE style of hearing aid is a good choice for an array of hearing losses and is easy to handle. The ITE is visible inside the ear, but its larger size allows for more functionality, additional power and an extended battery life.
- In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the In-the-Canal design is a small hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is visible from the outside. Being slightly 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 Invisible-in-Canal style of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is invisible from the outside. Invisible-in-Canal styles are typically not recommended for elderly users, but are a wonderful option in middle age.
- Open Ear / Open Fit – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) design combines an external hearing aid case that fits behind the ear and a flexible clear tube placed in the ear. The Open Fit/Open Ear model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and comes in various colors.
- Receiver In the Ear (RIE or RITE) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear design is the smallest among the hearing aids work externally. The Receiver In the Ear style combines a very small case that sits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear attached by a clear tube. The ear canal stays open for natural sound quality.