The days of bulky, obtrusive hearing aids are long gone. Today, people can choose from a variety of styles, including tiny devices that fit completely in your ear canal and are invisible to outside observers. Not everyone is a candidate for these styles of hearing aid, but your hearing aid technician will discuss the best options for you when you begin the process of choosing a hearing aid. For most people who are not suffering from profound hearing loss, an in-the-ear hearing aid may be a viable option.
Types of In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
In all models of in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, the entire unit fits in the ear—no part of the device sits behind the ear, so there are no tubes or wires coming out of the ear. With ITE models you will also have a choice between designs that fit completely in your ear canal and those that sit in the outer ear. The following are four models of ITE hearing aids:
- Invisible-in-the-canal. These devices are the smallest hearing aids available, but may be difficult for some people to manage. They are very small and are inserted completely into the ear canal. The wearer must be able to insert the device deep within the ear canal and carefully remove it every day. Because the invisible-in-the-canal model sits next to the eardrum, the wearer experiences immediate sound travel and less ambient noise than he or she would experience with other models.
- Completely-in-the-canal. This model fits into the ear canal, but is still somewhat visible to outside observers. While still small and discreet, it is not as small as the invisible model, so it is a little easier for most patients to manage. The wearer still gets the advantage of less ambient and wind noise. The device is custom fit to your ear canal, making it comfortable and effective. These are one of the most popular models available, but they will not correct profound hearing loss.
- In-the-canal. This hearing aid offers comfort that is easier for many people to handle. While it is more visible to outside observers than the two completely-in-the-canal models, many people are more comfortable with putting it in as they don’t have to insert it far into the ear canal. It is also custom-made to fit perfectly in the wearer’s ear canal and offers the benefits of being discreet and blocking wind resistance.
- In-the-ear. This model is custom molded to sit in the outer bowl of your ear. It is the easiest in-the-ear model to manage, and its larger size allows for easier access to volume controls and the battery compartment. While not as discreet as the smaller models, it is still less obtrusive than behind-the-ear models, so may be a nice compromise for many users.
If you suffer from profound hearing loss, you may need the technology offered by behind-the-ear hearing aid models, but even these have gotten smaller and less bulky than they used to be. If you are a candidate for an in-the-ear model, your hearing aid technician will discuss the benefits of each model and you will be able to try inserting and removing them to see what you are comfortable with.
Professional Hearing Care Center Has Many Models to Choose From
When you work with a hearing aid technician at our Lakeland, Florida, office, you will be able to examine each of these models of hearing aid and try them out to see what will be the best choice for you. If the tiny size of an invisible-in-the-canal device makes you uncomfortable, you can try an in-the-canal or in-the-ear model instead. Our professionals will make sure you get the best hearing aid for your lifestyle and that you are comfortable inserting it and cleaning it. Use the link on this page to connect with us today!