In the event you or a loved one have been shopping for a hearing aid, you have likely come across receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. RIC hearing aids are similar to the more common behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but they provide some advantages that BTE aids cannot. This short article explores some of the key pluses and minuses of the RIC hearing aid style.
In behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids, the device’s components are all held in the same case: either behind the ear or in the ear. RIC hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major sections. A case behind the ear holds the aid’s amplifier and microphone, while a small bud that contains the receiver is used inside the ear canal. The receiver is connected to the case by a thin tube.
There are several advantages associated with separating the receiver from the microphone and amplifier. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC hearing aid wearers have fewer problems with feedback. They also report fewer problems stemming from occlusion of the ear canal. These devices also tend to procedure a more natural sound, allowing listeners to enjoy a more comfortable experience. High-pitched tones are amplified particularly well, making receiver in canal hearing aids very suitable for individuals suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.
The split configuration of the RIC has a few other advantages. Because it is split in two parts, this type of hearing aid is unobtrusive and easy to obscure. Its small size also allows it to fit very comfortably in and on the ear.
Receiver in canal devices do have several disadvantages. They are particularly vulnerable to ear moisture on the receiver, potentially making frequent repairs a necessity. Amazingly, the potential for loss is another drawback. Because they are so small and lightweight it can take some time for the user to realize that the hearing aid is missing. Compared to other hearing aid styles, RIC designs are average to above average in cost.
Even though they have their flaws, receiver in canal hearing aids are a great choice for a large percentage of the hearing impaired population. Seeking the advice and assistance of a hearing specialist is the next step in selecting the best hearing aid for your hearing loss and lifestyle.