This type of hearing aid has all its electronic components contained within a plastic shell. This device fits in your ear canal, but with the faceplate still visible in the outer portion of the ear. The size, as well as the visibility of the ITE depends on your degree of hearing loss and shape of your ear canals. This style of hearing aid may be suitable if you have mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid
All the electronic components of the classic BTE model are located in a housing, which sits behind the ear. The BTE amplifies sound and then routes it through the tubing to the ear mold which sits securely in the ear. This style can provide amplification necessary for all degrees of hearing loss from mild to severe.
Open Fit Hearing Aid
Open Fit Hearing Aids are small devices that sit behind the ear. A tiny tube attached to the device is inserted down the ear canal. No ear mold is involved. The open fit hearing aid is often best for persons with mild to moderate hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss.
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) Hearing Aid
The RITE style sits behind the ear and is attached to a thin wire which is placed into the ear canal. At the end of the wire is a tiny receiver or speaker which delivers sound to the eardrum. This style may be used for mild to serve hearing loss.
The ITC style is custom made, smaller in size and fits almost entirely inside the ear canal. All the components are housed in a single plastic shell and because it sits in the canal it is more difficult to notice. ITCs are suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing loss.
The CIC style fits deeply into the ear canal and is therefore practically invisible. They are custom designed and this model fits the deepest into the ear canal. There is typically a small handle or cord on the device to assist with removing it from the ear. This model is suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses.