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Purchasing hearing aids can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the numerous acronyms commonly used to identify basic styles. This collection encompasses the majority of the abbreviations you are likely to come across when researching hearing aids and offers a short explanation of each one. The very best way to truly understand the distinctions is to see them side-by-side, therefore if some of these explanations are ambiguous, be sure to contact us to visit and check out the various choices.

The list below is displayed in approximate order from smallest to largest.

  • Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The Invisible-in-Canal style of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is fully invisible from the outside. IIC designs are generally not suggested for elderly users, yet are an excellent choice in middle age.
  • Completely in Canal (CIC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC style fits inside the ear canal making it near invisible. Due to its small size, the Completely in Canal design typically has fewer features. For instance, the Completely in Canal type doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
  • In the Canal (ITC) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC design is a compact hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is externally visible. Being slightly larger than the models which fit deeper in the ear canal, directional microphones are possible with the In-the-Canal style.
  • In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the ITE style of hearing aid is easy to handle and suitable for a wide variety of hearing losses. It is visible inside the ear, but its greater size offers more features, more power and a better battery life.
  • Half Shell (HS) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the Half Shell is a custom molded hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is partially visible. Because it is somewhat larger than the designs which fit deeper in the ear canal, added benefits such as directional microphones are feasible with the Half Shell style.
  • Receiver In the Ear (RITE) or (RIE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear design is the smallest of the externally worn hearing aids. The RIE/RITE style brings together a tiny case that fits behind the ear and a receiver placed inside the ear attached by a flexible clear tube. The ear canal remains open for natural sound quality.
  • Open Ear / Open Fit – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) design brings together an external hearing aid case that fits behind the ear and a clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Ear/Open Fit design leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and is available in many colors.
  • Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s more substantial external case makes a larger number of functions possible and is a superb choice for people that has poor finger dexeterity. All of the component parts are inside the case which is worn behind the ear. BTE hearing aids come in many colors. The BTE design is frequently chosen for children for safety and growth reasons.
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