If you have hearing loss, a hearing aid can help you hear by amplifying soft sounds and reducing background noise. Hearing aids come in a variety of styles and are increasingly small and inconspicuous.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids hook over the top of the ear and rest behind it. A tube connects the hearing aid to an earmold that fits in your ear canal. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids have a similar design, but the receiver is placed in the ear canal or ear, respectively. The open-fit hearing aid is a type of behind-the-ear hearing aid that allows low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally, while high-frequency sounds are amplified by the aid.
Other hearing aids are designed to fit inside the ear rather than resting behind it. In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are custom molded to fit partly in the ear canal, while completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids fit entirely inside the ear canal. In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids come in two styles: full shell, which fills most of the area of the outer ear, and half shell, which fits the lower part. These are larger and more conspicuous than ITC and CIC models, but they tend to be easier to insert.