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Your hearing care professional carries a broad range of hearing aids – from the most simple to the ost advanced. Together you can discuss the pros and cons of the various models before deciding which one is best for you.
Contemporary, Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE)
Suitable for all kinds of hearing loss, RITE is fast becoming the most popular style of hearing aid. It is lightweight, very small and nearly invisible – a major bonus. And the colours, which range from subtle to bold and trendy makes these solutions very cosmetically appealing. This style is also easy on the ear, for two reasons:
Classic, Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
Over time, BTEs have become smaller and more elegant. They come in various sizes, the smallest being the Mini BTE. The electronics are housed in a case behind the ear, and the sound is sent through a tube into a custom earpiece that is tailor-made to fi t perfectly. BTEs come in a variety of colours including neutral colours to match your hair or skin tone. The larger ones can accommodate a larger battery and amplifier, making them perfect for children and adults who need a more powerful hearing aid.
Custom-built hearing aids
Custom hearing aids are individually tailored to fi t the contours of your ear. Whether these are suitable for you will depend on your hearing loss and the size of your ear canal. Crafted in skin-tone colours, these instruments come in various sizes. In-the-Ear (ITE), In-the-Canal (ITC) and Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) styles are useful if you want one piece per ear only. Some people doing sports fi nd them more practical. Functionality-wise they can be rather limited compared to Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) and Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids due to lack of space in the ear.
In ITEs, all of the components are housed in a shell that sits snugly in the visible part of your ear, so there are no wires to contend with. ITEs are easier to insert than smaller, In-the-Canal hearing aids, and the larger battery makes them suitable even for moderately severe hearing losses.
In-the-Canal (ITC) & Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)
These sit in the ear canal, making them virtually invisible. Performance- wise, they suit mild to moderate hearing losses, but the very small battery compartments and controls make them unsuitable for anyone with arthritis or manual dexterity problems.