hearing aids (ITE)

Man wearing ITE hearing aids

Invisible helpers in your ear

In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) are comfortably placed directly in the ear canal. The components of the hearing system are situated in a shell and custom fitted to the individual’s ear canal. Before being individually manufactured, a hearing aid expert will first need to make a customized mold of the patient’s ear. ITE hearing aids are suitable for slight to moderate hearing loss.

ITE hearing aids are available in different skin colors, making them hardly distinguishable from the external ear at first glance. One thing to remember is that larger hearing aids offer higher performance levels – this applies to both ITE and BTE models. Also the cost of a hearing aid can vary due to the chosen model.

Concha hearing aids (Greek for shell)

These ITE hearing aids are placed into the visible part of the ear canal, the concha. Concha hearing aids are the largest ITE model and offer extended functions, such as directional microphones, volume controls and push-buttons for the selection of specific ambient programs. Due to their size, they are typically easier to operate and maintain than other ITE hearing aid models.

In-the-canal hearing aids

In-the-canal hearing aids are slightly smaller than Concha hearing aids and hardly visible. Like Concha hearing aids, they are distinguishable from the very small CIC hearing devices by a longer battery life and extended functions, such as directional microphones, volume control and various ambient programs. In-the-canal hearing aids are suitable for slight to moderate hearing losses.

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids

These in-the-ear hearing aids are placed deep into the ear canal and are almost invisible. CIC hearing aids are the smallest among the ITE hearing aids. Its size necessitates the use of small batteries, which need to be replaced more frequently. CIC hearing aids are most suitable for people who are experiencing mild hearing loss.

In-the-ear hearing aids tend to be smaller than the behind-the-ear version. The CIC hearing aids in particular are barely visible. To determine if the ITE hearing aids are a right fit, three prerequisites must be met:

1. An ear canal that is large enough to provide sufficient space for the hearing aid.
2. Slight to moderate hearing loss, in order to manage with the available level of efficiency offered by very small devices.
3. Experiencing the occlusion effect (dull sound of one’s own voice, which is unavoidable due to the hearing aid “blocking” the ear canal) by the wearer.

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