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 hearing aid is an apparatus which typically fits in or behind the wearer's ear. It is designed to amplify and modulate sound for the wearer. The function of a hearing aid is to amplify sounds to a degree that can make the sound audible for a person with hearing impairment in an effective manner.

There are various types of Hearing aids available in the market. They are basically distinguished by where they are worn. Primarily there are four types of hearing aids.
  • ITE : in the ear
  • ITC : in the canal
  • CIC : completely in the canal
  • BTE : Behind the ear
The various hearing aid products available in our stores are described below:
 
 bworn.jpg Body worn hearing aids
Body worn hearing aids are one of the earliest and simplest types of hearing aids used and they consist of a case, an ear mold, and a cord. The case contains the amplifier components. The case is about the size of a pack of playing cards and is worn in the pocket. The ear mold is connected to the case via a cord. Today, body aids have largely been replaced by Behind-The-Ear (BTE) instruments.
 
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Behind the ear hearing aids (BTE) 

BTE hearing aids consist of a case, a tube and an earmold. The case is small and made of plastic. It fits behind the pinna (ear). The case houses the amplification system. The tube is used to route the sound from the hearing aid case to the earmold.

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Open Fit Devices

One of the most recent modifications in BTE hearing aids includes miniature BTEs with thin hair-like sound tubes. These are often less visible than In-The-Ear aids (ITEs). They use a larger vent than other hearing aid types. This keeps the ear canal more open, which allows sound to enter the ear without being amplified. This is helpful for listeners with normal hearing in the lower frequencies. Miniature BTEs are generally used for mild to moderate high frequency losses.

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In the ear hearing aids (ITE) 

These devices fit in the outer ear bowl (called tahe concha); they are sometimes visible when standing face to face with someone. ITE hearing aids are custom made to fit each individual's ear. They can be used in mild to severe hearing losses.

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Receiver In the Canal/Ear (RIC/RITE)

At first glance, these devices are similar to the BTE aids. There is however one crucial difference: The receiver of the hearing aid is placed inside the ear canal of the user and thin electrical wires replace the acoustic tube of the BTE aid. There are some advantages with this approach: Firstly, the sound of the hearing aid is arguably smoother than that of a traditional BTE hearing aid. With a traditional BTE hearing aid, the amplified signal is emitted by the receiver which is located within the body of the hearing aid (behind the ear). The amplified signal is then directed to the ear canal through an acoustic tube, which creates a peaky frequency response. With a RITE hearing aid, the receiver is right in the ear canal and the amplified output of the hearing aid does not need to be pushed through an acoustic tube to get there, and is therefore free of this distortion. Secondly, RITE hearing aids can typically be made with a very small part behind-the-ear and the wire connecting the hearing aid and the receiver is extremely inconspicuous. For the majority of people this is one of the most cosmetically acceptable hearing device type. Thirdly, RITE devices are suited to "open fit" technology so they can be fitted without plugging up the ear, offering relief from blockage sensation.

 
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In the canal (ITC), mini canal (MIC) and completely in the canal hearing aids (CIC)

ITC hearing aids are smaller, filling only the bottom half of the external ear. You usually cannot see very much of this hearing aid when you are face to face with someone. MIC and CIC aids are often not visible unless you look directly into the wearer's ear. CICs are usually not recommended for people with good low frequency hearing, as the sensation of blockage is much more perceivable.

  
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Invisible In canal hearing aids (IIC)

This type of hearing aid fitting is not visible when worn. This is because it fits deeper into the canal than other types, so that it is out of view even when looking directly into the ear bowl (concha). A comfortable fit is achieved because the shell of the aid is custom-made to an individual’s ear canal after taking a mould of the patient's ear. Invisible hearing aid types use venting and their deep placement in the ear canal to give a more natural experience of hearing. Unlike other hearing aid types, with the IIC aid the majority of the ear is not blocked by a large plastic shell. This means that sound can be collected more naturally by the shape of the ear, and can travel down in to the ear canal as it would with unassisted hearing. Instead of taking out the IIC to change memory or volume settings, some allow the wearer to use their mobile phone as a remote control to alter settings. It is worth noting that IIC types are most suitable for users up to middle age, but are not suitable for more elderly people.

  
 
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Behind The Ear

"Open-fit" or "Over-the-Ear" OTE hearing aids are small behind-the-ear type devices. This type is characterized by a small plastic case behind the ear, and a very fine clear tube running into the ear canal. Inside the ear canal, a small soft silicone dome or a molded, highly vented acrylic tip holds the tube in place. This design is intended to reduce the blocked sensation. Conversely, because of the increased possibility of feedback, and because an open fit allows low frequency sounds to leak out of the ear canal, they are limited to moderately severe high frequency losses.

 
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