RIC Or IIC Hearing Aids? Which Is Best For You?

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If you've recently found out that you have hearing loss and will need hearing aids, you may be confused by all of the different styles and options. Two of the types you'll come across most often are invisible-in-canal (IIC) and receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. Read on to learn the difference between these types and when each is a good choice.

RIC Heating Aids

RIC hearing aids consist of an apparatus that sits behind and on top of the ear. A receiver, or microphone, is attached to this apparatus – and the receiver itself inserts directly into the ear canal. The two components are usually connected by a thin piece of plastic tubing.

RIC hearing aids are lightweight and offer good sound quality because the receiver is located right in the ear canal. They are the most common style of hearing aid on the market and can assist with mild, moderate, or more profound hearing loss. If you only have mild hearing loss now but your hearing loss worsens over the coming years, choosing an RIC hearing aid will prevent you from having to buy a new one.

You can typically go home with an RIC hearing aid the day of your appointment with the hearing specialist. This is because the hearing aids do not have to be customized to your ears. Your specialist will choose the size that's the best fit, adjust the volume to your needs, and send you home.

The only real downside to this type of hearing aid is that it is rather obvious since it sits behind the ear. Many patients make their hearing aids less obvious by choosing flesh-colored ones and by styling their hair over the hearing aid.

IIC Hearing Aids

IIC hearing aids are very small hearing devices that are completely inserted in the ear canal. They won't be obvious unless someone directly looks into your ear. This may enable you to feel less self-conscious about your hearing loss and use of hearing aids.

While IIC hearing aids can correct moderate hearing loss, they don't correct the most severe hearing loss. So if you opt for this type of hearing aid and your hearing continues to get worse, you may need to switch to a different variety, like an RIC hearing aid.

The other hassle with IIC hearing aids is that they must be custom made for your ears. Your specialist will measure your ear and order your hearing aids. You won't receive them for a week or more since they need to be custom made. This also tends to make IIC hearing aids a bit more expensive than RIC models. You can click here for info on this topic.