All hearing aids have the same basic parts to digitally bring sound into the ear and amplify it. Though hearing aids come in many designs, the five main styles are completely in the canal (CIC), in the canal (ITC), in the ear (ITE), behind the ear (BTE) and extended wear.
- The CIC and mini CIC, which are molded to fit your ear canal. They improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
- The ITC, which is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
- The ITE, which is custom made in two versions: one that fills most of the outer ear and one that fills only the lower part. Both versions improve hearing for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
- The BTE hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. People of all ages with any level of hearing loss can use this style. This style also comes in an open fit version that keeps the ear canal open to allow for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally while amplifying high-frequency sounds.
- Extended wear hearing aids and cochlear implants are also available. Extended wear aids are placed in the ear by an otolaryngologist or ENT physician and can be worn for months at a time. Cochlear implants are best for patients with severe hearing loss or profound deafness. The implant is surgically placed behind the ear by a surgeon and works by receiving sound from an external piece to give the patient the sensation of hearing.
If you are interested in a hearing aid, you should discuss your needs and expectations with an audiologist. Please contact The Hearing Place at (605) 217-4327 to schedule an appointment with our Audiology Services.