When you start shopping for hearing aids you will immediately come across many different designs to choose from including the receiver-in-canal (RIC). RIC hearing aids are related to the more prevalent behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but they offer some benefits that BTE hearing aids cannot. This short article explores some of the key advantages and disadvantages of the RIC hearing aid style.
Two standard types of hearing aid (behind-the-ear and in-the-ear) are designed to keep the device component all in one case (behind the ear and in the ear respectively). 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 two parts are connected by a thin clear tube.
There are several advantages associated with separating the receiver from the microphone and amplifier. Receiver in canal hearing aids are less likely to inundate listeners with feedback, and occlusion is generally less of a problem. These devices also tend to procedure a more natural sound, allowing listeners to enjoy a more comfortable experience. This type of device a great choice for listeners with mild to moderate hearing issues because it amplifies high-pitched tones exceptionally well.
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. This small size also makes it very comfortable and easy to fit.
Receiver in canal hearing aids do have a few disadvantages to be aware of. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. 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. Lastly, this style of hearing aid is often higher in price than its cousins, so some shoppers may have difficulty fitting them into their budgets.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular receiver in canal style. Consult your hearing instrument specialist to learn more about RIC and other styles of hearing aids.