As you search for a hearing aid – either for yourself or a loved one – one of the more common options you will come across is the in-the-ear (ITE) style. These tiny devices are made to fit in the lower portion of the outer ear, making them a comfortable choice for listeners with mild to moderate hearing problems. What follow is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the in-the-ear hearing aid style.
Each ITE hearing aid is custom made for the wearer because it must fit the exact shape of your ear. Your hearing professional will make a mold of your ear to make sure that the end result is a perfect fit. This tailor-fit is to ensure that the aid produces high quality sound and to eliminate feedback, but it offers the additional advantage of being very comfortable. All the components needed for this type of hearing aid are stored in a single case, eliminating the need for wires and tubes. This makes them lightweight and easy to wear.
ITE devices are especially capable of picking up high-frequency sounds. This is due to their placement in relation to the outer ear, which collects and focuses many high frequency sound waves. Another nice feature of the in-the-ear hearing aid is that it sites recessed into the ear. This means that most people have no problem using headsets and telephones which rest up against the ear. This type of hearing aid’s small size can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Small size is good for wearers that wish to disguise their hearing aid. The downside of this is that they cannot store all of the features that other hearing aid styles do. Handling the device and changing the battery inside requires good finger dexterity and eyesight.
Despite its flaws, many listeners greatly benefit from in-the-ear hearing aids’ small size and high sound quality, making them an ideal device for many individuals. A hearing aid specialist can help you evaluate your options and make recommendations based on your needs and preferences.