The in-the-canal (ITC) and the in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid styles fit in the category of the small hearing devices. The body of the hearing aid fits partially in the ear canal similar to the completely-in-canal, however it does have a higher profile making it more invisible compared to the CIC style. The ITC style, in a full-shell version is custom made to fully fill the bowl of the ear. The outside shell comes in an assortment of colours to blend with your skin tone. Shells for the ITE are available in full-shell and half-shell sizes.
Pros and Cons
When comparing the ITC/ITE option to the even smaller CIC, the slightly larger device offers more power. With more power available this style is suitable for those with more severe degrees of hearing loss; encompassing a larger range of hearing loss from mild to severe. A larger body equals a larger battery, and less frequent battery replacement. Because the ITE offers more “real estate” than the smaller ITC, is has more advantages such as volume control and program setting button on the device. While both these styles offer a cosmetic advantage and a comfortable custom fit, natural air flow into the ear canal is limited with small venting. This restrictive flow of air can result in wax build-up for the wearer. This wax can also interrupt the performance of the device, diligent care and maintenance is required.
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Other Hearing Device Styles to Explore
IIC: Invisible In Canal
Suitable for users with a mild to moderate hearing loss, who are looking for the ultimate discreet hearing solution.
CIC: Completely In
For mild to moderate hearing loss. This tiny custom style rests deep in the ear canal. A discreet hearing aid solution.
RIC: Receiver In Canal
Suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. Worn behind the ear, the receiver sits directly in the ear canal.
The ITC and ITE can accommodate larger, size 312 and 13 batteries and more technologies such as Bluetooth® low energy technology. Bluetooth enables ITC hearing aids to connect to other devices including smartphones, TVs, computers, music players, and remote microphone accessories. Hands-free calls, and wireless connections to stereo audio is possible.