When you begin looking for hearing aids you will immediately come across many different designs to choose from among them the receiver-in-canal (RIC). The RIC hearing aid shares many features with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid while possessing some distinctive advantages unique to the RIC. This article serves as a brief introduction of the primary advantages and disadvantages of the receiver in canal hearing aid.
In behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids, the device’s components are all held in the same case: either behind the ear or in the ear. RIC devices use a different strategy, separating the device’s components into two sections. A case behind the ear holds the aid’s amplifier and microphone, while a small bud that contains the receiver is used inside the ear canal. The two parts are connected by a thin clear tube.
Separating the receiver from the rest of the device has a number of advantages. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC hearing aid wearers have fewer problems with feedback. They also report fewer problems stemming from occlusion of the ear canal. These devices also tend to procedure a more natural sound, allowing listeners to enjoy a more comfortable experience. High-pitched tones are amplified particularly well, making receiver in canal hearing aids very suitable for individuals suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.
The physical configuration of receiver in canal devices also provides a number of advantages. Separating the two components allows the device to remain very small, making it unobtrusive and easy to hide. The small size of the case also makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Receiver in canal hearing aids do have a few disadvantages to be aware of. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. Because they are so comfortable they are actually easier to lose: if you are not used to feeling them in your ear, you may not notice when they are gone. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC designs are average to above average in cost.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular RIC style. Your hearing specialist would be happy to answer all your questions about different hearing aid styles and help you choose the best design.