Looking for the best hearing aids will expose you to a variety of styles, including receiver-in-canal (RIC). There are a number of advantages particular to RIC devices, in addition to many commonalities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Continue reading to discover the pros and cons of RIC devices.
Two standard types of hearing aid (behind-the-ear and in-the-ear) are designed to keep the device component all in one case (behind the ear and in the ear respectively). RIC hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major sections. The case behind the ear contains the amplifier and microphone. The receiver is separate in a small bud which fits in the ear canal. The receiver is connected to the case by a thin tube.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several 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. Listeners also enjoy a more natural sound, making the listening experience much more comfortable. RIC hearing aids are favored by people with mild to moderate hearing losses because they amplify high-pitched sounds very well.
The split configuration of the RIC has a few other 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.
Receiver-in-ear hearing aids do have their flaws, but their numerous advantages make them a worthwhile choice for many listeners. Seeking the advice and assistance of a hearing specialist is the next step in selecting the best hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle.