This is relatively the recent type of hearing instrument. But quickly, made it to most favored type of hearing instrument because of its wide fitting range, its ‘almost invisible’ design and hence high cosmetic appeal.
This type is designed especially for those who need higher amplification for their moderately severe to severe degree of hearing loss, at the same time do not want a visible instrument.
RIC instruments became so popular that recent most technical advents were incorporated in this type which took this instrument on top position of most desired hearing instruments.
Today this is the only type which has an option of rechargeable hearing instrument. This is highly popular amongst people of all age groups because of ultimate ease of operation. One can just recharge his/ her RIC instrument same as he/ she recharges cell phone. No more hassle of changing batteries, keeping batteries in stock, etc. not only this but few of the models can be wirelessly connected to gadgets kike cell phone or music devices. Some instruments require interface device, others have direct connectivity to gadgets.
This is most popular and widely used type of hearing instrument. It can be fitted across all age groups from infant to older clients. It is easy to wear and easy to handle. It offers wide range of amplification. It is the first choice of an audiologist for their pediatric clients, especially for the children with congenital hearing loss, i.e. hearing loss since birth, which in most of the cases is profound in degree. Thus the audiologist has to consider a hearing instrument that gives higher amplification and higher output for young children.
Over a period of time it has reduced in size. A small Behind the Ear hearing aid (mini BTE) is less visible and hence it has become the choice of even adults. In older adults we often observe tremors or dexterity problems. For such clients using behind the ear hearing instruments is much easier than any other type.
The Behind the Ear hearing instrument is conventionally worn with a ciustomised ear mould which snugly fits in the ear canal. To make it less visible and appealing it can also be used with a thin tube.
The first canal instrument was made in late 1980s. it was a revolutionary technology at that ime considering the size of available instruments.
Canal instruments are available in three sizes. Big in size is In the Ear (ITE), medium in size is the In the Canal (ITC), small in size is completely in the canal (CIC). It does not have a cord or a tube. Many people choose this type because it is not easily visible.
Canal instruments have few other technical advantages over other types such as ; less amount of a/mplification is required as this sits close to the tympanic membrane in the ear canal also in case of small canal instruments i.e. In the canal (ITC) or completely in the canal (CIC). The natural function of pinna which is to direct sound waves towards tympanic membrane, remains intact making hearing aid more effective compared to other types of instruments.
Because this instrument sits in the canal it naturally gets protection from dust and water. However for those who have ear discharge or are operated, are not suitable for canal hearing instruments. Canal instruments cannot be made for ear canals that are too small in size.