When you start looking for hearing aids you will quickly encounter many different designs to choose from including the receiver-in-canal (RIC). The RIC hearing aid shares numerous features with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid while possessing some distinct advantages particular to the receiver in canal. Read on to explore the benefits and drawbacks of RIC devices.
Two standard types of hearing aid (behind-the-ear and in-the-ear) are designed to keep the device component all in one case (behind the ear and in the ear respectively). RIC hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major sections. A case behind the ear holds the aid’s amplifier and microphone, while a small bud that contains the receiver is used inside the ear canal. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separating the receiver from the rest of the device has a number of advantages. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC hearing aid wearers have fewer problems with feedback. They also report fewer problems stemming from occlusion of the ear canal. Listeners also enjoy a more natural sound, making the listening experience much more comfortable. RIC hearing aids are favored by people with mild to moderate hearing losses because they amplify high-pitched sounds very well.
The physical configuration of receiver in canal devices also provides a number of advantages. Separating the two components allows the device to remain very small, making it unobtrusive and easy to hide. This small size also makes it very comfortable and easy to fit.
No device is perfect, and RIC aids do have some disadvantages. They are particularly vulnerable to ear moisture on the receiver, potentially making frequent repairs a necessity. Amazingly, the potential for loss is another drawback. Because they are so small and lightweight it can take some time for the user to realize that the hearing aid is missing. Finally, these devices tend to be high in price, making them difficult to obtain for some listeners.
Receiver-in-ear hearing aids do have their flaws, but their numerous advantages make them a worthwhile choice for many listeners. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about receiver in canal and other styles of hearing aids.