There are several in the ear types of hearing aids all with their own names, terms and abbreviations. It’s hard to understand what it means, how much can be seen and what are the pros and cons of In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aids. Below we attempt to answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision if these are the best hearing aids for you.
In-the-Canal hearing aids sit in the ear canal but don’t fully sit all the way in the ear canal like Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aids would and aren’t as obvious as In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aids which sit mostly outside the canal. There are still portions that would show, but are still obscure enough that only someone really looking at your ear would notice. They typically come coloured to match your skin tone to make them even less obvious for those that are conscious about how visible their hearing aid is to the public.
An example from Signia on how to install an In-the-Canal hearing aid.
Advantages of In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
There are a few great advantages to consider with this style of hearing aid:
Every ear canal is different so any hearing aid that sits inside your canal must be custom built around a mould made of each of your ear canals.
Because it’s tailor-made for you they fit incredibly well which improves sound and increases comfort because there is no wiggling, gaps or scratching from the hearing aid moving around in your ear canal.
Better at High Frequency
They are better at picking up and delivering high frequency sounds so if your particular hearing loss is around high frequency, they will yield better results than other hearing aids like Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) or Behind-the-Ear (BTE) styles.
Small & Discrete
They are small enough that they aren’t obvious and are coloured to match your skin colour as closely as possible to make them even less obvious. But aren’t small enough that they are hard to handle.
Disadvantages of In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
All hearing aids have a downside and here are the few to consider with this style:
They Are Small
This is also a disadvantage because it makes them easier to misplace and lose and also harder to put in place if you have larger hands and fingers or dexterity issues.
Not As Many Features
Although as technology increases they are getting a lot of the same great features as Receiver-in-Canal and Behind-the-Ear models they don’t have as many or as advanced.
Because of their size, the batteries must also be small and therefore don’t last as long. It will mean they will need to be replaced more often or recharged more often if rechargeable is an available feature.
What also might impact whether this is a good hearing aid for you is your level of hearing loss as they are not typically good for severe or profound hearing loss levels. The rest comes down to your personal preference and if this style is one you feel you can work with and live with. During your appointment, our clinicians will do a full life and hearing assessment and make sure you get the best hearing aid for you and your needs.