In the ear (ITE):
Custom hearing aid that fits within the outer portion of the ear.
An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to simple hearing loss.
In the ear hearing aids come in a range of different colours. You can be sure of finding ones to match your hair and skin tone so they are barely noticeable without looking closely. Some people prefer in the ear versus the more conventional behind the ear styles.
An in-the-ear hearing aid:
- Includes features that don’t fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control
- May be easier to handle
- Uses a larger battery for longer battery life
- Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker
- May pick up more wind noise than smaller devices
- Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices
- Easy to adjust
- For mild to severe hearing loss
- Custom-made for you
- Variety of color options available
How hearing aids work
Hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a hearing aid battery.
Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers.
Hearing aid styles
Hearing aids vary a great deal in price, size, special features and the way they’re placed in your ear.
The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. Hearing aid designers keep making smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for a hearing aid that is not very noticeable. But the smaller aids may not have the power to give you the improved hearing you may expect.