Receiver in the ear technology (RITE) hearing aids
RITE hearing systems are placed behind the ear and transmit acoustic energy through an ear wire connected to a loudspeaker placed in the ear canal, this theory of fitting can apply to a wide range of hearing losses.
Discreet and often exceeds cosmetic expectations
Can be used to keep the ear open providing a natural acoustic response
Includes directional microphones
Avoidance of the feeling of occlusion in many cases
Completely in the canal (CIC)
Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are molded to fit inside your ear canal and can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:
Is the least noticeable in the ear
Is less likely to pick up wind noise because the ear protects the instrument
Is easy to use with the telephone in most cases
Uses smaller batteries, which typically don't last as long as larger batteries
Doesn't contain extra features, such as volume control or directional microphones
In the canal (ITC)
An in-the-canal hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal, but not as deeply as the completely-in-the-canal aid. This hearing aid can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
An in-the-canal hearing aid
Is less visible in the ear
Is easy to use with the telephone
Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but the small size can make the features difficult to adjust
May not fit well in smaller ears
Half-shell (ITE) in the ear
A smaller version of the in-the-canal hearing aid, the half-shell is custom molded and fills the lower portion of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is appropriate for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
A half-shell hearing aid:
Is bigger than an in-the-canal hearing aid
Is a little easier to handle than are the smaller hearing aids
Includes additional features, such as directional microphones and volume control
Fits most ears
In the ear (full-shell) in the ear
An in-the-ear (full-shell) hearing aid is custom made and fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
An in-the-ear (full-shell) hearing aid:
Is more visible to others
May pick up wind noise
Contains helpful features, such as volume control, that are easier to adjust
Is generally easier to insert into the ear
Uses larger batteries, which typically last longer and are easier to handle
Behind the ear (BTE)
Behind-the-ear hearing aids hook over the top of your ear and rest behind the ear. The hearing aid picks up sound, amplifies it and carries the amplified sound to an ear mold that fits inside your ear canal. This type of aid is appropriate for almost all types of hearing loss and for people of all ages.
A behind-the-ear hearing aid:
Is the largest, most visible type of hearing aid, though some new versions are smaller, streamlined and barely visible
Is capable of more amplification than are other hearing aid styles
Often easier to place and maintain due to increased size.
CROS/BiCROS Hearing Aids for single sided hearing loss.
A Contralateral Routing of Signals – or CROS – hearing system is used for patients who have one normally hearing ear and one deaf or unaidable ear. The unaidable ear has a microphone transmitting to a receiver in the normal ear, which therefore picks up sound from both sides of the patient.
These hearing systems can take the form of several common hearing aid shapes such as behind the ear (BTE), receiver in canal (Ric) and various sizes of “in the ear” hearing aids. They are typically linked via a wire around the back of the patient's head or, more conveniently, by utilising the wireless communication available from several hearing aid manufacturers. Best known amongst these are the Phonak CROS system and the Unitron Tandem.
Many patients will cope with single sided deafness but seek help later on in life when the normal ear starts to show mild to moderate age related hearing loss. The effect of this deterioration can feel even more marked due to the patient's long term reliance on their better ear.
In these cases, where the patient has one deaf or unaidable ear and one ear that presents an aidable hearing loss, a BiCROS digital hearing aid system may be suggested. This still has the satellite microphone in the deaf/unaidable ear transmitting to the better ear, but the better ear also has a microphone to give appropriate help on this side.
The BiCROS system aims to bring awareness of sounds from the unaidable ear and combined with effective amplification on the better ear provides clearer overall audibility to the patient. Many patients report a better balanced hearing experience, and some localisation of direction of sounds.