ITE hearing aids are the smallest, simplest hearing devices available. They do not fit in or behind your ear; rather they sit on top of it and there is usually a hearing aid microphone on each side of your head just below your ear. Their simplicity makes them ideal for adults who do not lose hearing equally from both ears. This is especially true if you have hearing loss that results only from aging.
Hearing loss happens to everyone eventually – but how much hearing you will lose is up to you! If one of your ears has more hearing damage than the other, by starting with an in-the-ear (ITE) hearing device, then switching to a behind the ear (BTE) or in the canal (ITC) one later, you can most likely correct any difference in hearing between left and right ears.
When You Already Have Hearing Aids
But there are also hearing loss situations where a hearing aid like ITE, invisible in canal (IIC) or completely in canal (CIC) is not the right choice for a hearing device. For instance, if you have already used hearing aids and know that you would be more comfortable using other hearing aids instead of BTE or other types of hearing devices because they feel better behind the ear – then it makes sense to give them a try. The same goes for invisible hearing aids which look like hearing aids but do not go behind your ears.
In addition, if your primary concern is difficulty in understanding speech around background noise like restaurants or airports, it may make more sense to try hearing aids that enhance speech in noise than hearing aids which are invisible.
Hearing Loss in One Ear or Both Ears
It’s also important to note that hearing devices can either be binaural, meaning both ears have hearing devices connected to the same hearing aid and monaural, meaning there is a separate hearing device for each ear. So, you may also want to consider what type of hearing loss you would like corrected more: hearing in one ear only or in both ears.
Hearing Loss in Noisy Places
If your primary concern is difficulty understanding people who mumble or do not speak clearly it may make sense to take advantage of a technology called directional microphone technology for example found in the new hearing aids. These hearing aids are more helpful for hearing loss in noisy places such as stadiums, restaurants or train stations.
The good news is that a hearing device right for one person may not be the best hearing aid for another person. So, if you can’t decide which type of hearing aid might work best for you, the idea is to consult with an audiologist first, before making a decision about what hearing aids to buy.
An audiologist will review your hearing test results and discuss all types of hearing devices available so that together you can decide how hearing loss should be corrected – with ITE hearing aids, BTE hearing aids, ITC or CIC hearing aids – and whether directional microphone technology might be helpful hearing loss in certain situations.
Visit an Audiologist
With hearing aids, as with everything else, no one hearing aid works best for everyone – and choosing the right hearing device does require some careful research to get a clear picture of exactly what’s available on today’s hearing aid market and how well specific types of hearing devices can help you hear better – particularly if having a hearing device or hearing aids make you feel more confident and comfortable when in social situations and improve your job performance.
So, if you do not have enough information about which type of hearing aids might be most beneficial for your situation then it would be beneficial talking to an audiologist first before deciding what kind of hearing aids to buy.