The main types of hearing aids

Published 15 August 2018  | Updated 16 May 2024  | 3 mins read

There’s no doubt that we all dread being told that we have a hearing loss and need to wear hearing aids, but what years ago could seem like a daunting prospect is now becoming more accepted and understood. Those large, beige contraptions you once knew as hearing aids are no more and with today’s technology, hearing aids are now far more advanced.

Despite there now being more aesthetically pleasing devices to help with your hearing, this doesn’t change the fact it can be confusing when trying to find out what’s best for you, your lifestyle and your hearing loss. Our experts will advise and guide you on what they feel is best suited to you, giving you an in-depth explanation of each type of hearing aid. To give you an idea, we can take you through an overview of the main types of hearing aid:

Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids

BTE aids are likely to be the most recognisable to a non-hearing aid wearer. They resemble the hearing aids most of us know, sitting behind the ear, with the case attached to the ear mould, or can have an earpiece with clear tubing. Although they’re the most similar to the bulky contraptions, they are now much smaller and sleeker, with the most modern types barely noticeable to those around you.

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) aids

These are an even smaller version of the BTE aids but seen to be more popular because of their ability to not cause ‘blockages’, that those who wear the standard BTE aids can sometimes complain of. They provide quality sound, whilst being comfortable enough to not notice yourself once you’re used to wearing them – let alone passers-by!

In-the-ear (ITE) aids

ITE aids are moulded to the shape of your own ears, coming in different sizes and strengths depending on your needs. Fitting right inside the ear canal, they are only visible side-on to the wearer but even then, they are designed in a various choice of colours, so they are still very hard to spot.

Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) aids

Held within tiny cases in the ear canal, these aids are the smallest available but one of the most powerful in terms of their technology. With revolutionary sound processing and expert fitting services, these aids can be life-changing. Being completely invisible makes them very popular but are best suited to those with mild to moderate hearing loss, depending on what your audiologist suggests.

Made your mind up?

Or do you need some more advice? If you’re in the process of choosing a hearing aid but still feel as though you need further information, speak to one of our expert audiologists at your local THCP practice. If you think your hearing isn’t as good as it used to be and think you might need a hearing appointment, book a free hearing test online today or contact us on 0800 52 00 546.