Hearing Aids & Styles
Hearing lets us absorb the world around us. It fosters our ability to learn, to communicate, and to enjoy life to its fullest. No matter how old you are, good hearing is fundamental to everyone.
Choosing a doctor of audiology is one of the most important decisions an individual with a hearing impairment can make. Since hearing aids are medical devices and require a prescription, proper hearing aid recommendation and fitting is highly dependent on the knowledge, skill, and experience of the professional selecting the instrument.
Whether you are just starting to notice a decrease in hearing sensitivity or if you have been using hearing aids for years, we at Audiology Island understand hearing loss, and we will do everything to help you improve your quality of life.
Audiology Island is the only clinic on Staten Island that works with every single manufacturer available on the market. We are the only clinic offering the largest choice of hearing aids on Staten Island that includes multiple lines of hearing aid technologies and models at every price point.
Our doctors of audiology will expertly develop individualized treatment plans for each client, explain multiple treatment options, and fit the hearing aids using Real Ear Speech-mapping technology. Staten Island patients are now able to participate in individual aural rehabilitation classes at Audiology Island.
When selecting a style the following is considered:
- The degree of the hearing loss (power requirements)
- Manual dexterity & visual abilities
- Patient budget
- Skin sensitivities
- Anatomical/medical considerations
Styles of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the internal components. Many of today’s hearing aids are considered sleek, compact, and innovative – offering solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.
Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. They’re available in different skin tones to camouflage with the outer ear. There are several styles – each is listed below, ranging from smallest to largest.
Invisible In-The-Canal (IIC)
The smallest custom style, IIC instruments sit invisibly in or past the second bend of the ear canal. IIC are specifically designed for mild to moderate hearing loss.
The smallest custom style, CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. They fit mild to moderate hearing losses and offer high cosmetic appeal as they’re nearly invisible when worn.
ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have a longer battery life, and can host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses.
Full Shell or In-the-Ear (ITE)
Full shell models sit flush within the outer ear bowl. Their size allows the maximum number of additional controls and features such as directional microphones, which require space on the outer portion of the instrument. They use a larger battery size than the smaller styles, and can fit a larger receiver with enough power for even some severe hearing losses. Because of their flexibility, they’re widely recommended for mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind or on top of the outer ear, with tubing that routes sounds down into the ear that connects to an ear tip or earmold to secure them in the ear canal. BTEs come in colors to blend with hair or skin tones, and even chrome colors, leopard print and other funky designs to suit personal styles. Different BTE sizes accommodate different features, controls, battery types and degrees of power (larger instruments generally have more power than smaller ones). While many people choose discreet BTEs that are unnoticeable when worn, others are tempted to show off the cool designs.
Mini BTE with slim tube and tip
Mini BTEs are designed to hide behind the outer ear, and have ultra-thin tubing to discreetly route sound into the ear. The tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn’t occlude it. The result is a natural, open feeling as airflow and sound enter the ear naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip. This is known as “open fitting” and is recommended for mild to moderate high frequency losses.
Receiver in the ear (RITE)
RITE models, also known as RIC (receiver-in-canal) models, are mini BTEs that have the speaker of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. RITE instruments fit mild to severe hearing losses. This hearing aid style looks similar to the Mini BTE when worn on the ear.
BTE with earmold
BTEs with earmolds fit mild through profound hearing losses. Their longer shape follows the contour behind the outer ear and can house many features such as a program button and volume control. The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they’ll look on each person.
Call us today to set up an appointment and take the first step to better hearing health.