Shopping for hearing aids will expose you to a variety of designs, including receiver-in-canal (RIC). The RIC hearing aid shares many benefits with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid while possessing some distinctive advantages particular to the receiver in canal. This short article serves as a brief introduction of the primary advantages and disadvantages of the receiver in canal hearing aid.
Many readers will be familiar with behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids where all the components are housed inside a single case. 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. The two parts are connected by a thin clear tube.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several 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. High-pitched tones are amplified particularly well, making receiver in canal hearing aids very suitable for individuals suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.
The physical configuration of receiver in canal devices also provides a number of advantages. Both the case that fits behind the ear and the receiver in the ear are 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.
Even though they have their flaws, receiver in canal hearing aids are a great choice for a large percentage of the hearing impaired population. Your hearing specialist would be happy to answer all your questions about different hearing aid styles and help you choose the best design.