Hearing aids worn in the ear

These are designed to sit directly in the user’s ear, and are usually custom made for a closer fit. However, they are not usually recommended for children as the aid would constantly need replacing as the child’s ear grows. They are available in three principal levels of miniaturisation:
 
 These types of hearing aids are not routinely available through the NHS.
 
 
 
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fill most of the external part of the ear and are suitable for moderate-to-severe hearing losses. 
 
 
        
     An ITE (In The Ear) hearing aid (shown on the left)
 
 
 
Advantages:
 
• Although clearly visible when worn, small size means that the aid is fairly discreet
 
 
Disadvantages:
 
• Their small size can make them difficult to handle - especially for those with poor manual dexterity (for example those with arthritis).
• A poorly fitted in-the-ear aid can result in acoustic feedback.
• These aids can be prone to damage by earwax and may require more repairs/servicing than behind-the-ear types.
 
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In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fit well into the ear canal of the wearer.  They are usually less visible than standard in-the-ear hearing aids, which can be seen quite clearly in the outer part of the ear. Because they are smaller in size, however, they are generally less powerful – and can therefore only be used by people who have a mild to moderate hearing loss.
 
 
        
        An ITC (In the Canal) hearing aid - shown on the right
 
 
Advantages:
 
• Smaller size means that the aid is much less visible.
 
 
Disadvantages: 
 
• Small size can be difficult to handle - especially for those with poor manual dexterity (for example those with arthritis).
• A poorly fitted in-the-canal aid can result in acoustic feedback.
• These aids can be prone to damage by earwax and may require more repairs and servicing. 
 
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Like ITC aids, completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are also custom designed to fit the shape of the user’s ear. However, they fit much deeper into the ear canal – making them the least visible of hearing aid types.
However, their position inside the ear canal means that they are exposed to moisture and ear wax; as a result, it is common that this type of aid needs repairing more often than other types.
CICs are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss only.
 
Advantages:
 
• Smallest size hearing aid currently available - meaning that it is the least visible.
 
 
Disadvantages:
 
• Small size means can be difficult to handle - especially for those with poor manual dexterity (for example those with arthritis).
• Only suitable for those with an ear canal sufficiently large to accomodate the aid.
• Require the use of very small batteries, which need replacing more frequently.
•  These aids can be prone to damage by earwax and may require more repairs/servicing.
 
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