HEARING AID STYLES
At Euthymiades Audiology Centres we offer all ranges of OTICON and PHONAK hearing aids.
Hearing aids have various styles. Each one has its own advantages and limitations. Selecting the right style for you depends on a number of factors, including:
1. The degree of your hearing loss
2. The ear size and shape
3. Your personal preferences and needs
4. How well you can use your fingers and hands (manual dexterity)
Several different styles of hearing aids are described below.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE)
- Open Ear (RIC or CRT or RITE)
- Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
- In-the-canal (ITC)
- In-the-ear (ITE)
- CROS / BI-CROS hearing aid
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are now much smaller, and neater than in the past and fit comfortably over your ear. A custom earmould is made to the exact shape of your ear. This earmould is used to channel the sound from the hearing aid into your ear and to secure the hearing aid in place.
Because the components are housed outside of the ear, BTE aids tend to be the most durable, need less repairs and have a longer life expectancy. They can be worn easily, even by people who wear eyeglasses.
Open ear hearing aids are housed in a tiny case that fits over your ear coupled to an ultra thin tube with a soft rubber tip that fits in the ear. These instruments are appropriate for people with normal to near normal hearing in the low pitches (bass tones), and a mild to moderately severe hearing loss in the high pitches (high tones). Normally as a result of noise induced hearing loss (e.g. ex-military, construction, factory workers, pilots) or severe ototoxicity affecting the high pitches.
This hearing instruments is very comfortable, cosmetically appealing and reduces the ‘boominess’ or occlusion some people may get by hearing their own voice too loud. This is achieved as there is no need for a large earpiece blocking the ear.
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are also custom designed. They fit deep into the ear canal so they are the least visible. They may also reduce the problem of wind noise. Due to its small size, and small battery required, CIC need good dexterity as people with poor hand coordination (e.g. due to arthritis, for example) may have some difficulty be a little difficult to manipulating them.
Additionally, due to exposure to moisture and ear wax, CIC need good care and cleaning by the user to reduce the repair needed. Same as with the ICC, not everyone is a candidate for CIC due to the shape or size of their ear canal or their hearing loss severity.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom made and fit directly into your ear, filling most of the visible portion of your ear. All of the components are housed within a single plastic shell. They have no external wires or tubes, and are very light in weight. When properly made, they fit comfortably and securely in the ear. The ITE hearing aid can be used by people who have mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
CROS/BI-CROS hearing aid is the best way to fit a person that has normal hearing or aidable hearing loss in one ear, and very little or no hearing left in the other ear. The hearing aid is worn on the better hearing side and an additional microphone is worn on the unaidable side. This allows the person to pick up sound on the poor ear side and hear it on the better side making the person hear from both sides and localise sound easily.