In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are small hearing aids that rest in the outer portion of the ear canal. In general, the ITE hearing aid is discreet and great for those who lead an active lifestyle and do not want to worry about their hearing aids falling out of place. ITE hearing aids are suitable for most types of hearing losses, though one should consult a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) for a consultation and customized fit.

How do I know if ITE hearing aids are right for me?

There are multiple styles available to suit different needs in the hearing aid world, and each type of hearing aid has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it’s essential to consider several factors when selecting the right style to fit your needs. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are you a current hearing aid user? If so, do you like the current style, or are you looking for something different?
  • Has your hearing changed? If yes and the degree of your hearing loss has increased, a new type might be necessary.
  • Do you live mostly an active lifestyle or a sedentary lifestyle? Each option might require more information to ensure a great fit.

Are ITE hearing aids my only option?

No, there are various hearing aids other than in-the-ear hearing aids, including behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-canal (ITC).

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The case behind the ear houses the electronic parts, and sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold into the ear. BTE aids are common choices for a wide variety of ages and ranges of hearing loss.

There are two styles of canal aids, and both fit into the ear canal. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal. A completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal.

Canal aids are tiny and may be difficult for those with dexterity issues (difficulty picking up and handing small objects). In addition, canal aids are not typically recommended for those with severe hearing loss, as their small size limits their power and volume.

How long does it take to adjust to ITE hearing aids?

The adjustment period for a new hearing aid wearer will vary based on the person’s degree of hearing loss. When you wear the hearing aids regularly, the adjustment process will be quicker.

Most hearing specialists recommend that you learn to adjust the volume in various settings and get comfortable with the features. Custom-fitted aids are designed to offer maximum comfort and performance, so remaining patient and confident is essential in the beginning. An HIS can help you make any adjustments needed, as well.