The Pros and Cons of Common Hearing Aid Styles

If you have hearing loss, the first step to better hearing is to schedule a hearing test. Once an audiologist determines the exact type and degree of your hearing loss, the second step is to be fit with hearing aids. There are many styles of hearing devices available, and all the choices can be overwhelming. While your audiologist will be there to walk you through every step of the way, we’ve compiled some pros and cons for various hearing aid styles to help you get started.

Invisible in the Canal (IIC) & Completely in the Canal (CIC)

Man points at his hearing aid.

IICs and CICs are the smallest, most discreet hearing aids on the market. They are worn deep in the ear canal and are barely, if at all, visible to others. These styles are commonly fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Pros:

  • Most discreet design
  • Good sound quality

Cons:

  • Susceptible to earwax blockage and damage from moisture
  • Size can be an issue for people with dexterity problems
  • Size may cause trouble connecting to wireless devices

In the Canal (ITC)

ITCs sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl. They are slightly larger than IICs and CICs, meaning they have a longer battery life and are appropriate for a wider range of hearing losses. They often include features like manual controls and directional microphones.

Pros:

  • Discreet design
  • Longer battery life than IICs and CICs
  • More features than IICs and CICs

Cons:

  • Susceptible to earwax blockage and damage from moisture
  • May cause plugged up feeling in the ear
  • Size may cause trouble connecting to wireless devices

Low-Profile Hearing Aids

Low profile hearing aids are like ITCs but are available in half-shell (filling half the bowl of the outer ear) or full-shell designs (filling entire outer ear bowl). These offer similar features to ITCs but are more suitable for people with dexterity issues due to their size.

Pros:

  • Easy to insert and remove
  • Accommodates more features and controls
  • Can connect to wireless devices

Cons:

  • Less discreet than IICs, CICs and ITCs
  • May cause plugged up feeling in the ear

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute today.

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