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In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can come in all shapes and sizes. Well, not all shapes and sizes – we haven’t yet seen any hearing aids shaped like a Harley Davidson motorcycle, but when that does hit the market, we’ll be the first to let you know!

That is, unless your hearing healthcare professional lets you know first. What’s that? You don’t have a hearing healthcare professional? Well, let’s do something about that. If you fill out our quick and simple online form, you’ll be able to arrange a free consultation with a hearing specialist.

What are ITC hearing aids?

There are a few types of hearing aid available, one of which is the in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid. These come in a number of different shapes themselves, since each ITC hearing aid is ideally crafted from a silicone mold of the user’s ear.

This is what we mean by ‘all shapes and sizes’ – due to the diversity of patients’ ear canals, the variety of shapes that ITC hearing aids could come in is theoretically infinite. Therefore, there may be someone out there with an ear canal that would allow for a hearing aid shaped like a Harley Davidson motorcycle – you never really know.

Two ITC hearing aids

Since ITC hearing aids go inside the ear canal, they’re a lot smaller than standard BTE hearing aids. And since they’re smaller, they have less room to include fun extra features, such as Bluetooth connectivity or tinnitus cancellers.

Another side effect of ITC hearing aids being smaller is that they have less room for more powerful amplifiers. Therefore, they’re only really suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, which can make their user base a bit smaller than other kinds of hearing aids.

ITC hearing aid prices

Since ITC hearing aids are most basic, it’s only fair to assume that they’re the cheapest kind of hearing aid. And that assumption is correct! Hearing aids like the ReSound Enya have ITC models that do little more than convert sound – the primary function of a hearing aid.

This is an example of a basic level ITC hearing aid, but there are premium-level ITC hearing aids that cost close to the same price as a premium BTE or RIC hearing aid.

Returning to the Enya, it is a pretty perfect example for this – its ITC models are very cheap, reaching down into three-figure prices. Again, they aren’t exactly packed with features, but they perform their primary role – and for such a low price, that’s a pretty good bargain.

Most other basic ITC hearing aids will be around this price range, from $800 to $1,000, which is an ideal situation for people who are getting their first hearing aid or only suffering from very mild hearing loss.

ITC hearing aid

There are premium-level ITC aids that have advanced noise reduction, directionality, bluetooth, and tinnitus cancellation features. These are close to the cost of premium-level BTE or RIC aids.

Are ITC hearing aids better or worse than other types?

The beauty of different kinds of hearing aids is that they’re all specialized to the user. Someone using a BTE hearing aid won’t have the same needs as someone using an ITC hearing aid.

If you had mild hearing loss befitting an ITC hearing aid, and were to put on a BTE hearing aid that had been adjusted for someone with severe hearing loss, you’d risk damaging your hearing even further, as the product simply isn’t made for you.

Hearing aids are specialized for their user, so the “best hearing aid” is simply whichever hearing aid is made for you.

Custom ITC hearing aids

Like we said earlier, ITC hearing aids are created from a silicone mold of the user’s ear canal. However, they aren’t the only kind of hearing aid made with this process, as there are many kinds of hearing aids that can be classified as “custom hearing aids.”

This classification includes in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, ITC hearing aids, completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids, and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids, all of which are produced by a manufacturer after they receive an impression of the patient’s ear.

Overall

We’ll reiterate: no type of hearing aid has an inherent advantage over another. If you think an ITC hearing aid is better suited for your lifestyle than a BTE hearing aid, then you can have a clean financial conscience in purchasing one. The needs of the individual patient call for customization of the hearing aid.

If you follow this link and fill out our online form, you’ll be able to arrange a free consultation with a hearing healthcare professional near you. There, you’ll be able to discuss hearing aid options in depth.

Duncan Lambden

Duncan Lambden

Writer

Duncan is an Australian-born American-raised creative writer with a passion for healthy ears. He continues to build upon his audiology qualifications with research and various courses. Duncan has been working alongside Florida-based audiologist Lindsey Banks, Au.D., to make sure that Everyday Hearing has the most up-to-date content.

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