Researching hearing aids can be challenging if you are not familiar with the many acronyms commonly used to identify common styles. The following collection includes most of the abbreviations you are likely to encounter when researching hearing aids and provides a short description of each one. The best approach to fully grasp the differences is to compare them in-person, therefore if any of these explanations are not clear, please contact us to stop by and discover the different choices.
The list below is presented alphabetically.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s larger external case allows for extra features and is a superior option for anyone that has poor finger dexeterity. All of the component parts are inside the external case which is worn behind the ear. Large number of colors choices are offered. The BTE type is frequently used for young children for growth and safety reasons.
- Completely in Canal (CIC) – Suitable for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC style fits inside the ear canal making it close to invisible. Because of its small size, the Completely in Canal hearing aid typically has fewer features. For instance, the Completely in Canal style does not have space for directional microphones.
- Deep Canal (DC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the DC style fits deep inside the ear canal and is invisible. It provides less occlusion than other types but is not appropriate for all patients particularly individuals with a narrow ear canal. Because of its small size, the Deep Canal hearing aid typically has fewer features. For example, the Deep Canal type doesn’t offer directional microphones.
- Extended Wear Hearing Aids – Extended wear hearing aids are placed in the ear canal by a hearing specialist. Extended wear hearing aids are worn for 1 to 3 months without being removed.
- In the Ear (ITE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the In-the-Ear style of hearing aid is easy to insert and suitable for a wide range of hearing losses. It is visible inside the ear, but its greater size allows for more functionality, more power and an extended battery life.
- In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC style is a small hearing aid which 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.
- Invisible in Canal (IIC) – The IIC style of hearing aid fits inside the ear canal completely and is fully invisible from the outside. Invisible-in-Canal types are generally not advised for elderly users, but are a wonderful choice for younger adults.
- Open Ear / Open Fit – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Fit (also called Open Ear) model blends an exterior hearing aid case that rests behind the ear and a clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Fit model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and is available in various color options.
- Receiver In the Ear (RIE or RITE) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Receiver In the Ear model is the smallest of the hearing aids work externally. The RIE/RITE type combines a very small 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.