When selecting a hearing aid style, there are various factors to consider, from your lifestyle to your hearing loss needs. Your audiologist will work with you to find the best solution for your specific needs, but it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as possible. To ensure you find the best option for your hearing loss, consider the following four frequently asked questions. 

1. What are the different hearing aid styles?

There are three main types of hearing aids, including:

  • In the ear (ITE): One of the larger hearing aids, the ITE style comes in two types. The full shell fills the entire bowl of the outer ear, while the half shell only fills the lower part of the bowl. 
  • Behind the ear (BTE): Even larger than the ITE style, BTE hearing aids have a hook that goes behind the ear and connects to an earpiece within the canal of the ear. Although these have traditionally been large, smaller BTE hearing aids are now on the market. 
  • In the canal (ITC): This style is generally smaller and less visible than ITE and BTE styles. It consists of a single earpiece that sits within the canal of the ear. 

2. What is the best style of hearing aid?

There is no one best style of hearing aid. The best style of hearing aid for you will depend on the type of hearing loss you have, as well as your lifestyle needs. The best way to figure out which style of hearing aid is right for you is to have a conversation with your audiologist. 

3. Which style is best for my type of hearing loss?

If you have mild to moderate hearing loss, most hearing aid styles will be an option for you. 

For those with severe hearing loss, BTE style hearing aids are generally the best option. This is because they are able to amplify sounds to a greater extent than other styles, thanks to their larger size. 

ITE hearing aids may also be an option for individuals with severe hearing loss. If your hearing loss is moderately severe, half-shell ITEs may work for you. For any level of hearing loss, full shell ITEs are usually effective. 

4. Which hearing aid style is best for my lifestyle?

Your lifestyle will impact which hearing aid style is best for you. If dexterity is a challenge for you, some of the larger styles, such as BTE and ITE, may be easier to program, control the volume and change batteries. 

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, a smaller design may be a better fit, as larger styles are more likely to pick up wind noise. Similarly, if you talk on the phone a lot or enjoy listening to music, you may wish to look at styles that can connect to your smartphone using Bluetooth.