Monthly Archives: February 2017

Hearing aid styles

Hearing aids can vary a great deal in size and the way they’re placed in your ear. The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest and least visible in the ear.

Completely in the Canal (CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal, or CIC, hearing aid is custom molded to fit inside the patient’s ear canal. It can be used to fit mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type of hearing aid
  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle
  • Cannot contain extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the Canal (ITC)

An in-the-canal, or ITC, hearing aid is also custom molded to the patient’s ear, but fits partly in the ear canal. This style can be used to fit mild to severe hearing loss in adults.

An in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles
  • Includes features that won’t fit on CIC hearing aids, but may still be difficult to adjust due to its small size
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the Ear (ITE)

An in-the-ear, or ITE, hearing aid is also custom made to the patient’s ear, but can come in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for adults with mild to severe hearing loss.

An in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Includes features that can’t fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control and program change button
  • Is be easier to handle due to its larger size
  • Uses a larger battery for longer battery life and easier handling
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker
  • Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices

Behind the Ear (BTE)

A behind-the-ear, or BTE, hearing aid hooks over the top of the ear to rest behind it. A tube then connects the hearing aid to a custom-made earmold that is used for retention in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and for those with almost any type of hearing loss.

A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible
  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles
  • Is easier to handle due to its larger size
  • Generally uses a larger battery for longer battery life and easier handling

Receiver in the Canal (RIC)

The receiver-in-the-canal, or RIC, style is similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid, however, the speaker or receiver is in the canal instead of in the hearing aid body itself. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the two pieces. This style of hearing aid can be used to fit people with mild to severe hearing loss.

A receiver-in-canal hearing aid:

  • Has a less visible behind-the-ear portion than BTE hearing aids
  • Doesn’t plug the ear like the small in-the-canal hearing aids do, making your own voice sound better and more natural to you
  • May be more difficult to handle and adjust due to small parts
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

 

 

The audiologist will recommend a style based on several factors during the Hearing Aid Consult appointment. These factors include degree and configuration of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, desired features, dexterity, and vision of the patient. If you would like to further discuss which hearing aid style is most appropriate for your needs with an audiologist, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic.

Bone-Anchored Hearing Devices (BAHD)

What are Bone-Anchored Hearing Devices (BAHD)?

While hearing aids and cochlear implants are better known options for assisting those with hearing impairments, there is another device that may be more appropriate for your hearing loss. A BAHD, also known as a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA), is made up of a surgically implanted portion and a removal external processor. These devices are unique in that they send signals to your inner ear via vibrations. These vibrations are interpreted by your inner ear the same as any other sound signal.

As you can see in the above below, the sound processor sits just behind the ear.

baha

Who is a candidate for the bone-anchored hearing device?

Patients with middle ear issues (chronic ear infections, previous surgeries, etc.) are often successful users of a BAHD because it bypasses the middle ear and directly stimulates the inner ear. The device is also beneficial for those with single-sided deafness. The BAHD is placed on the side of the head with the severe-to-profound hearing loss and the signal is sent to the better hearing ear.

 

New options with the BAHD!

Previously, the BAHD could only be worn by attaching it to an abutment that projected out from under the skin or by wearing a headband. There is now an option for attaching the external processor to the internal implant via a magnet. The image on the left demonstrates the magnet attachment.

how-baha-system-works-v3

 

In addition to the new wearing options, BAHDs have Bluetooth capabilities!

 

If you and your family are interested in learning more about BAHDs and want to know if you are a possible candidate, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic at 904-399-0350.