Comparing hearing aids can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the large number of acronyms commonly used to describe basic types. This collection encompasses most of the abbreviations you are likely to run into when looking at hearing aids and provides a short description of each. The very best way to truly understand the differences is to see them in real life, therefore if any of these explanations are not clear, please call us to come in and discover the different choices.
This list is written alphabetically.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the BTE hearing aid’s more substantial case allows for additional features and is a superb option for anyone with poor finger dexeterity. All of the components are within the case which is worn behind the ear. Wide range of colors options are offered. The BTE style is often chosen for small children for growth and safety reasons.
Completely in Canal (CIC) – Appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses, the CIC design fits inside the ear canal making it nearly invisible. Due to its small size, the CIC design may have fewer features. For example, the Completely in Canal style doesn’t have space for directional microphones.
Extended Wear Hearing Aids – Extended wear hearing aids are positiioned in the ear canal by a hearing specialist. These devices are worn for 1 to 3 months at a time without removal.
Half Shell (HS) – Appropriate for mild to severe hearing losses, the Half Shell is a custom molded hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is partly visiblefrom the outside. Because it is slightly larger than the models which fit further into in the ear canal, added benefits such as directional microphones are feasible with the Half Shell design.
In the Ear (ITE) – Suitable for mild to severe hearing losses, the ITE design of hearing aid is a good choice for numerous hearing losses and is easy to handle. The ITE hearing aid is visible inside the ear, but its greater size allows for more features, additional power and a better battery life.
In the Canal (ITC) – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the ITC style is a compact hearing aid that fits inside the ear canal and is visible from the outside. Because it is somewhat 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 type of hearing aid fits fully inside the ear canal and is fully invisible from the outside. IIC styles are generally not advised for the elderly, yet are a wonderful choice for younger adults.
Open Ear / Open Fit – Appropriate for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the Open Ear (also called Open Fit) design combines an external case that fits behind the ear and a flexible clear tube inserted into the ear. The Open Fit/Open Ear model leaves the ear canal open for natural sound quality and is available in several colors.
Receiver In the Ear (RITE) or (RIE) – Suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses, the RIE/RITE model is the smallest of the externally worn hearing aids. The RIE/RITE style combines a very small case that is located behind the ear and a receiver placed inside the ear connected by a flexible clear tube. The ear canal is open for natural sound quality.
Power – Developed for people with profound hearing loss, the Power type hearing aid comes with a larger external case worn behind the ear. The larger physical size makes it possible for it to supply the most sound amplification using the most powerful modern technologies.