If you’re experiencing hearing loss then it’s important to find the right style of hearing aid to ensure you perceive sounds clearly. You ultimately want a hearing aid that suits your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs, which is why it’s important to understand the various types of hearing aid so that you can choose one that is most suited to your needs.

Your audiologist will help you determine which style is right for you, but the three most common are listed below.

Behind the ear (BTE)

A BTE hearing aid is one that hooks onto your ear and sits comfortably behind it. It comes with a small tube that connects to your ear canal. This is where the sound from the device comes from. This has several advantages such as positioning the microphone away from the speaker, meaning there is almost no chance for feedback to occur. In addition, they’re larger which means that the battery is bigger and lasts longer, plus there’s more room for additional features should you require them.

BTE hearing aids are best suited for those with mild-to-profound hearing loss and can be equipped with a multitude of features. Also, because it is slightly larger than other devices, the hearing aid batteries last longer than smaller hearing aids, making it less finicky to handle.

In the ear (ITE)

ITE hearing aids are custom-made hearing aids that sit comfortably in your ear. They’re much smaller than BTE hearing aids and they often take a little longer to produce because a mold of your ear shape is often taken so that it can be made to fit comfortably in your ear. These are far more discreet than most hearing aid options and they’re convenient for those that wear glasses because they do not need to hook around your ear. They’re also quite comfortable and come with basic features such as volume adjustment.

ITE hearing aids are ideal for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. They’re come in a variety of shades and colors, making it easy to blend them in with hair or skin tones if discreetness is a concern.

In the canal (ITC)

ITC hearing aids are very similar to ITE hearing aids because they share several characteristics. They’re small and discreet, making them ideal if you don’t want others to see your devices; however, they can still be equipped with features to accommodate your hearing loss and surroundings. They are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

However, they are a little smaller which can make them difficult to handle during cleaning or maintenance if you have dexterity issues.

Picking the right hearing aid style is crucial to helping you get comfortable with the device. If you need more assistance, be sure to speak to your audiologist for suggestions and help regarding hearing aid styles.