Hearing Aid Styles

In-the-Canal (ITC) and Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) Aids

These aids are contained in a tiny case that fits partly or completely into the ear canal. They are the smallest aids available and offer some cosmetic and listening advantages.

CIC and ITC hearing aids
In-the-Ear (ITE) Aids

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

ITE Hearing Aids
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Aids

All parts of the aid are contained in a small plastic case that rests behind the ear. The case is connected to an earmold by a piece of clear tubing. This style is often chosen for young children for safety and growth reasons. Photo courtesy of Oticon

BTE "Behind The Ear" hearing aids
OTE: Open Fitting

With open fit hearing aids a small plastic case rests behind the ear, and a very fine clear tube runs into the ear canal. Inside the ear canal, a small, soft silicone dome or a molded, highly vented acrylic tip holds the tube in place. These aids offer cosmetic and listening advantages and are used typically for adults. Photo courtesy of Oticon

Open Fit Hearing Aids
RIC: Receiver-in-Canal Aids

These aids look very similar to the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a unique difference: the speaker of the hearing aid is placed inside the ear canal, and thin electrical wires replace the acoustic tube of the BTE aid. These aids also offer cosmetic and listening advantages and are typically used for adults. Photo courtesy of Oticon

RIC - Reciever In Canal Hearing Aids

Source: asha.org

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