Comparing hearing aids can be hard if you’re not familiar with the many acronyms used to describe basic styles. The following list includes the majority of the acronyms you are likely to run into when looking for hearing aids and provides a short description of each. The most effective way to truly grasp the distinctions is to see them side-by-side, so if these explanations are not clear, you should call us to visit and explore the various styles.

What follows is a list from smallest to largest of well-known hearing aid styles

Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The Invisible-in-Canal type of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is invisible from the outside. IIC types are generally not suggested for elderly users, but are an excellent choice for younger adults.

Deep Canal (DC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the DC style fits deep inside the ear canal making it invisible. The DC style provides less occlusion than other models but isn’t appropriate for all patients especially individuals with a narrow ear canal. Because of its compact size, the DC style typically has fewer features. For example, the DC style doesn’t offer directional microphones.

Completely in Canal (CIC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC design fits inside the ear canal making it nearly invisible. Due to its compact size, the Completely in Canal design may have fewer features. For example, the Completely in Canal style does not have space for directional microphones.

In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC style is a compact hearing aid which 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.

In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the In-the-Ear design of hearing aid is easy to insert and appropriate for a wide variety of hearing losses. It is visible inside the ear, but its greater size allows for more functionality, additional power and a superior battery life.

Receiver In the Ear (RIE or RITE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear design is the smallest among the externally worn hearing aids. The Receiver In the Ear style offers a tiny case that fits behind the ear and a receiver positioned inside the ear attached by a flexible clear tube. The ear canal is open for natural sound quality.

Open Ear / Open Fit – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Ear (also called Open Fit) model blends an exterior case that rests behind the ear and a flexible clear tube placed in the ear. The Open Ear model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and comes in several colors.

Behind the Ear (BTE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE style’s larger case enables many advanced features and is a good choice for anyone with poor finger dexeterity. All of the component parts are within the case which is worn behind the ear. Many colors choices are available. The BTE style is frequently used for young children for growth and safety reasons.

Power – Designed for individuals with profound hearing loss, the Power type hearing aid boasts a larger external case that sits behind the ear. The larger size makes it possible for it to supply the greatest levels of amplification making use of the most powerful current technological innovations.

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