If the thought of wearing hearing aids makes you want to hide in a dark, dreary corner, then let us at Fox Valley ENT show you the light.

Thanks to modern technology, hearing aids are rapidly becoming mainstream devices. They come equipped with some amazing features like Bluetooth compatibility, and they can even be personalized with stylish designs or your favorite color.

That’s a world’s difference from the bulky, clunky devices you may associate with older generations. Nevertheless, hearing aids do come in different styles and some have more features than others.

Your audiologist will work with you to determine which hearing aids will help you the most. What’s best for you will be determined by your level of hearing loss, your style preferences, your lifestyle, and budget.

Below is a description of the different types of hearing aids that are available. We hope this will prepare you for your upcoming decision and that you’ll find the device that is the most suitable for you.

Invisible-In-Canal (IIC)

Hearing aids? What hearing aids? Tiny and discreet, no one will have a clue you are wearing them.  These tiny custom-fitted devices are inserted deep into the ear canal so they are nearly invisible when worn, depending on your ear shape. This is a big plus for anyone who is concerned about their appearance. However, if you wish, you can personalize them with a color of your choice. Daily removal is recommended to ensure the most comfort and best hygiene.

What are these suitable for?: Mild to moderate hearing loss.

Completely-In-Canal (CIC)

Only a tiny bit shows – but you really have to look for it!  CICs are custom made and easy to insert and remove from the ear canal, as they feature a small handle you can grip that just peeks out of the side. Still nearly invisible, you can choose from a range of colors if you wish.

What are these suitable for?: Mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-The-Canal (ITC

A bit more is visible, but not overly obvious.

ITCs are custom fitted and feature an easy to insert and remove design. They are made to match your skin tone, making them well camoflaughed when nestled within the ear canal opening.

What are these suitable for?: Hearing that is diminishing at a steady pace.

In-The-Ear (ITE)

Skin tone matched, rests outside the ear canal.

Their sleek, custom made design means that ITEs mold perfectly to the ear canal’s outer entrance, resulting in maximum hearing coverage and comfort. Choose from a range of colors or opt for skin tone shades for a more discreet look.

What are these suitable for?:  Mildly severe to severe hearing loss.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)

An excellent choice for first-time hearing aid wearers. Quick to fit and incredibly discreet.

Although RICs comprise of several parts, they are nearly invisible. A receiver is worn inside the ear canal. It connects to its slim casing, which is worn behind the ear, with a thin electrical wire rather than plastic acoustical tubes. This helps to reduce any distortion. Patients find them comfortable to wear.

What are these suitable for?: Mild to moderate hearing loss.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE)

The most common design available.  When you think of a “typical” hearing aid, the BTE style most likely comes to mind. A casing is worn comfortably behind the ear. This unit contains the device’s technology. A clear plastic tube carries amplified sounds to an ear mold that’s worn within the ear canal. Easy to use buttons are a much welcomed feature along with their discreet wearability. Choose from a range of colors, if desired.

What are these suitable for?: Moderate to severe hearing loss.

Give yourself time to adjust – it’s well worth it!

If you find getting used to your new hearing aids a bit difficult, don’t worry. Adjustment periods can vary depending on your hearing levels. Persevere and soon they’ll become second nature.

It’s important to discuss life with hearing aids with your audiologist before selecting the ones for you. They will offer helpful advice and explain their multiple benefits.

With offices in Algonquin, Elgin, and St. Charles, Fox Valley ENT strives to improve our patients’ lives. To begin your journey to better hearing, contact us today to arrange a hearing test with one of our friendly audiologists.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Joseph, T Pacer

Joe Pacer has been an Audiologist with Fox Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Associates since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Northern Illinois University in 1986 where he continued and received his Master of Arts in Audiology in 1988. He is a member of the American Academy of Audiology. Joe works closely with his patients and has extensive experience performing hearing evaluation as well as recommending, fitting and trouble shooting hearing aids.