As you search for a hearing aid – either for a loved one or yourself – one of the more widespread options you will encounter 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. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of ITE hearing aids.
An ITE hearing aid is a small device that is custom-made to fit your ear shape. The custom fit is achieved by first creating an ear mold which becomes the template for the device’s shape. By doing so, you will enjoy high quality sound, low feedback, and an extremely comfortable overall experience. Unlike behind-the-ear devices, ITE hearing aids don’t require any tubes or wires: all the device’s components are included in a single case. As a result, ITE devices are light and extremely comfortable.
The ITE hearing aid style has certain distinct advantages. It tends to be excellent at handling high-frequency sounds (which is the range where many people have the most significant hearing loss). This enhanced ability to collect and focus high-frequency sounds is a result of their location inside rather than behind the outer ear. ITE devices are also recessed far enough into the ear that headsets and telephones can usually be used normally. This type of hearing aid’s small size can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The devices are easy to camouflage in the ear, making them a good choice for wearers who are self-conscious about their need for a hearing aid. But, the small size also limits the size of the battery and optional features that can be included inside the case. Their small size also keeps people who have poor eyesight or motor control from easily operating the controls and replacing the batteries.
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.