HOW HEARING AIDS WORK
Hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a hearing aid battery.
Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers.
HEARING AID STYLES
Hearing aids vary a great deal in price, size, special features and the way they're placed in your ear.
The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. Hearing aid designers keep making smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for a hearing aid that is not very noticeable
Invisible In The Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids
The smallest and virtually invisible custom style, IIC instruments sit invisibly in or past the second bend of the ear canal. IIC hearing aids are specifically designed for a mild to moderate hearing loss.
Completely In The Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
CIC hearing aids are custom molded to fit inside your ear canal making them mostly invisible to the outside observer. This style is made for people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.
In The Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
An ITC hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve a mild to severe hearing loss in adults.
In The Ear (ITE) Or Full Shell Hearing Aids
An in the ear (ITE) or full shell hearing aid is custom made and fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is made for people with a mild to severe hearing loss.
Receiver In Canal (RIC) Or Receiver In The Ear (RITE) Hearing Aids
The RIC or RITE, is a behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid where the main body of the hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tiny wire connects the receiver (or speaker) in the canal or in the ear, hence the names RIC or RITE. By far the most popular choice for hearing aid users given that it does not look like a traditional hearing aid, and can be construed as something like a modern bluetooth device. It is also appealing due to its small size. This style is made for people with a mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind The Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid With Earmold
A behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal. Traditionally, this has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible. This style is made for people with a mild to profound hearing loss.
BTE Hearing Aid With Slimtube And Tip
This style of hearing aid is a variation of the behind the ear hearing aid with a thin tube. It keeps the ear canal very open, allowing for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and for high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. This makes the slimtube and tip style a good choice for people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.