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About Hearing Aids
and Hearing Aid Styles

Given the many innovations, there are hearing aids available that can accommodate virtually any type of hearing loss! At The Ear Clinic, Brenda will work with you to determine the type that best matches your hearing and lifestyle needs.

Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC) Aids and Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC) Aids

These hearing aids fit completely inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible thereby offering cosmetic appeal and some listening advantages. Due to their small size they house a small battery which means shorter battery life and more frequent handling of tiny batteries.

Compared to larger hearing aid styles, the IIC and CIC hearing aids fit milder hearing losses.

In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

ITC hearing aids fit almost comlpetely inside the ear canal thereby offering cosmetic appeal and some listening advantages.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

All parts of the hearing aid are contained in a shell that fills the outer 'bowl' of the ear. These aids are larger than canal aids and, for some people, may be easier to handle than smaller aids.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids including Open Fitting

All of the hearing aid parts are housed in a plastic case that rests behind the ear. A fine, clear tube runs into the ear canal. Inside the ear canal, a soft silicone dome or a custom molded tip holds the tube in place.

These aids offer cosmetic and listening advantages and are used typically for teens and adults. A larger tubing coupled to a custom earmold is typically used for young children for safety and growth reasons, for more severe hearing losses and for individuals who may have difficulty handling or keeping track of smaller items.

Receiver-in-Canal Aids

These hearing aids look similar to the behind-the-ear hearing aid but are often smaller with a unique difference: the speaker of the hearing aid sits inside the ear canal, and thin electrical wires replace the acoustic tube of the BTE aids.

RIC aids also offer cosmetic and listening advantages. This style is most commonly used with adults and teens.

Extended Wear Hearing Aids

Learn more on our Lyric page.
These aids are devices that are placed in the ear canal by an audiologist. They are worn up to several months at a time without removal. The devices are made of a soft material designed to fit the curves of the ear.

They are worn continuously and then replaced with a new device. They are very useful for active individuals because their design protects against moisture and earwax, and they can even be worn while exercising and showering.

CROS Systems

CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signal) aids wirelessly route sounds coming to one ear over to the other ear. These devices may benefit individuals who have no useable hearing in one ear.

The microphone / transmitter portion of the system is placed in a small housing behind the poorest ear and the receiver/amplifier portion is placed in a similar housing behind the better ear or entirely within the ear canal of the better ear.

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids, Middle Ear Implants and Cochlear Implants

There are also special hearing aids built to handle very specific types of hearing loss. A bone conduction hearing aid uses a bone vibrator coupled to a headband; the bone vibrator rests behind the ear. This type of hearing aid is used for individuals who have no ear canal or outer ear. These devices bypass the outer and middle ear and directly stimulate the inner part of the ear or cochlea.

A middle ear implant is a hearing system that is implanted in the space behind the eardrum, and that mechanically vibrates the middle ear structures. This type of device has two parts: an external portion and an implanted portion. Another innovation is the osseo-integrated hearing aid, which is surgically implanted in the skull. Also known as a cochlear implant, this device has three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a detachable sound processor.

These devices typically require medical referral which can be coordinated by Brenda, together with the family physician.