There are many different types of hearing aids and the one you ultimately use should be determined after a lengthy consultation with your audiologist. Some hearing aids are tiny and almost invisible, while others seem larger and bulkier. While you may want to opt for a smaller, more discrete hearing aid, your audiologist may recommend a larger one. To help you understand the different types of hearing aids here is a quick guide to the different styles currently on the market.  

Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids

CIC hearing aids are designed to fit completely inside of your ear canal. They are molded to specifically fit into each unique ear to offer the best fit and lead to success in increasing your hearing ability. CIC hearing aids are the least visible, compared to other hearing aids. While this is a bonus for aesthetic reasons, their size is also great for functionality. Smaller hearing aids are less likely to pick up wind noise, which can become annoying.  

However, there are some downsides to CICs. For starters, they use a very tiny battery, which usually has a shorter lifespan than other larger batteries. These tiny batteries can be hard to handle and if you need to replace your battery, it might be best to let a professional change it. Due to their placement, CICs are also at a greater risk of earwax buildup. Because they are situated inside your ear canal, they are surrounded by earwax. Over time, this earwax can potentially clog the speaker of the hearing aid. Routine maintenance is highly important for CICs.  

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids are built to fit partly in the ear canal. While visible, they are still smaller than other hearing aids available. Each ITC hearing aid is specially molded to fit your ear and is recommended for adults that suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss.  

ITC hearing aids are larger than CIC hearing aids because they have larger features that don’t fit completely inside the ear canal. However, ITC hearing aids may still be hard to adjust because they are relatively small. As well, ITC hearing aids are also susceptible to earwax buildup. Ensure routine cleaning so that earwax doesn’t build up around the speakers.  

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

ITE hearing aids can be further divided into two categories: those that fit in the bowl-shaped area of your other ear and those that fit in the lower part of the ear. Both types of ITE hearing aids are recommended for people with mild to severe hearing loss.  

ITE hearing aids are larger than other types because they have more functions and, as a result, they are too large to fit inside your ear canal. Among these features is a volume control. The large size usually makes ITE hearing aids easier to handle. Because ITE hearing aids use a larger battery, they need less frequent battery changes. ITE hearing aids, then, are great for people who don’t have as much dexterity in their fingers.  

Because ITE hearing aids are still placed in your ear, they are susceptible to earwax buildup, especially around the speaker. They also may pick up more wind noise, producing a background noise that can be annoying. ITE hearing aids are slightly more visible than the other two hearing aids mentioned above, which may worry some people about being ostracized for wearing a hearing aid.   

Regardless of what hearing aid style you choose, your device will help you hear and communicate better. Discuss your needs and concerns with your hearing care provider to ensure you select the perfect hearing aid for you!