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Ears, Audiology & Hearing Aids

Invisible-In-the Canal (IIC)

Where worn: Fits in ear canal beyond second bend (custom made, completely concealed).
Who for: Mild to moderate hearing loss. Not for children (case must be replaced as ear grows).
Advantage: Smallest size (completely visible), programmable by telephone.
Disadvantage: Small size can be difficult to handle; Small batteries are changed more often.

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)

http://www.hearinglosseducation.com/Images/completely_in_the_ear.jpg Where worn: Fits in ear canal (custom made, mostly concealed).
Who for: Mild to moderate hearing loss. Not usually for children (case must be replaced as ear grows).
Advantage: One of the smallest sizes available (almost visible).
Disadvantage: Small size can be difficult to handle; Small batteries are changed more often; Can be damaged by earwax and ear drainage.

In-the-Canal (ITC)

http://www.hearinglosseducation.com/Images/in_the_canal.jpg .Where worn: Fits in ear canal (custom made).
Who for: Mild to severe hearing loss.
Advantage: Smaller size (barely visible), custom made, some brands can connect to Bluetooth.
Disadvantage: Small size can be difficult to handle; Can be damaged by earwax and ear drainage.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

http://www.hearinglosseducation.com/Images/in_the_ear.jpg Where worn: Fits completely in the outer ear (custom made).
Who for: Mild to severe hearing loss, not usually for children (case must be replaced as ear grows).
Advantage: Small size, can be used with add-on accessories and Bluetooth, custom fit.
Disadvantage: Small size can be difficult to handle, may be damaged by earwax and ear drainage.

Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC)

Where worn: Case behind the ear with a thin wire connecting to a receiver that is placed into the canal of the ear.
Who for: Mild to severe hearing loss.
Advantage:  Durable; Fairly invisible and easier to handle and maintain; Separate receiver can be easily replaced in office; Easy to use with Bluetooth.
Disadvantage:  High gain may cause feedback.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

http://www.hearinglosseducation.com/Images/behind_the_ear.jpg Where worn: Case behind the ear with a tube to a custom earmold placed into the outer ear.
Who for: Mild to profound hearing loss; Can be used by all ages including infants/children.
Advantage:  Durable; Larger size easier to handle and maintain; Separate earmold can be easily replaced; Easy to use with assistive listening devices.
Disadvantage:  Larger size (highly visible); high gain may cause feedback.

CROS (or BICROS)

http://www.hearinglosseducation.com/Images/cros.jpg Where worn: Can be worn in the ear or behind the ear.
Who: People with no useable hearing in one ear and normal or near normal hearing in the other ear (or hearing loss for BICROS)
Advantage: Transfers sound received on the deaf ear side to the other hearing ear.
Disadvantage: Requires two units, transmitter and receiver. In some cases requires custom earmold in the better ear resulting in plugged feeling/occlusion. Some people report poor sound quality if hearing in better ear is normal.

Bluetooth and Hearing Aids

In recent years some (not all) manufacturers have integrated Bluetooth technology into their hearing aid systems.

How does Bluetooth work?

The answer is radio frequency. The Bluetooth operates off of short-range radio frequencies.  Radio frequencies can be used to operate almost all computer equipment. Information travels along these frequencies very quickly and long distances (in most cases up to 10 meters).

How does Bluetooth work with hearing aids?

With the proper accessories and properly equipped hearing aids, a consumer can run a Bluetooth signal through their hearing aids.

A hearing aid has to have one or both of the following components to work with Bluetooth:

A Telecoil – This is essentially a small magnet inside a hearing aid that receives signals from telephones or other devices. Most Bluetooth accessories communicate with the hearing aids through either a magnetic loop worn around the neck.

Direct Audio Input (DAI) – this option is almost exclusive to standard BTEs and allows for connection with FM systems and other options. This is the most expensive way to use Bluetooth in conjunction with hearing aids.

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Brett Scotch D.O., F.A.O.C.O.
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544 | Zephyrhills, FL 33541 | Phone: (813) 994-8900 | Fax: (855) 388-5350

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