When selecting a type of hearing aid, you will hear several different acronyms thrown about that might not be fully explained. One of those acronyms is ITE, which is a shortened way of saying, “In The Ear”. An in the ear hearing aid differs from other hearing aids in a couple of particular ways.
A BTE, or Behind The Ear, hearing aid is different from an ITE in that the receiver and microphone are looped over and behind the ear and connected by tubing to the ear mold. An ITE on the other hand, is entirely in the ear. There is no tubing or exterior components, although it can still be seen from the exterior view of the ear in which it resides.
An ITE is also different from a CIC, or Completely In the Canal, hearing aid. The CIC fits inside the hearing canal itself and is essentially invisible to any viewer from the exterior. No one but the patient knows they are wearing a CIC, as opposed to anyone being able to tell that a patient is wearing an ITE.
A fourth type of hearing aid similar to the CIC is the ITC, or In The Canal. It can be seen but only slightly.
ITE hearing aids are most commonly prescribed for patients who have mild to moderate hearing loss, although a few can manage moderate to severe hearing loss. ITE’s are not prescribed to children because they are molded to fit some of the exterior portion of the ear and children’s ears are constantly growing and changing.
They are also not recommended for patients that have dexterity issues or who have a lot of wax build up and ear discharge because these problems tend to complicate the patient’s ability to keep the hearing aids clean enough to hear with.