Audiological Services of San Francisco

Hear the difference

3150 California St., Suite 1, San Francisco, CA 94115

415-346-6886

3 Main Types of Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing Aid Styles

If you are considering getting hearing aids, you will need to decide what type you want to use. You might think that there is only one type of hearing aid, but once you speak to an audiologist, you’ll discover that this is not the case. Indeed, you have a few choices when selecting the type of hearing aid that you will be most comfortable with. Let’s look at some of the options and find out which possibility will be best for you.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices

As the name suggests, this type of hearing aid fits behind the ear. The BTE device is typically fitted onto your ear with a plastic hook. While you might think this would be uncomfortable, the hearing aid is actually surprisingly light. The main section of the hearing aid has a plastic, transparent tube that is connected to a receiver, which is placed into the ear canal. This is the most common type of hearing aid available on the market, and it can also be the cheapest. When it comes to hearing aids, the general rule is that a large device will be less expensive. The other thing to bear in mind about these devices is that they are very easy to remove. While these devices can be quite large, they also come in a miniature variety that is less noticeable.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

Again, the name gives away where this device fits. It slots firmly in your ear in a mold. This mold will be shaped to your ear precisely by a trained audiologist to make sure that it is as comfortable as possible. One of the benefits of this type of device is that it is subtler. Unless someone is staring directly down your ear, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to tell you are wearing one. The device is still connected to a receiver that fits inside your ear canal. This device can be used for both mild and severe hearing loss and is often considerably smaller than the BTE hearing aid. One of the benefits of this hearing aid is that it is easy to adjust and it’s also available in a variety of different colors. As such, you can get one to match the skin tone of your ear.

Invisible-in-canal (IIC) technology

Yes, these devices are completely invisible to anyone else when you are wearing them. If you speak to your audiologist, they will tell you that these devices are slotted inside the ear canal. As such, you won’t notice them at all when they are worn. Unfortunately, they are only suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss due to their size and potential power. They also need to be removed on a daily basis to promote good ear health. If you want a device that doesn’t need to be removed, you will need to look at implants instead.

We hope this helps you understand some of the main hearing aid options that you can choose.


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