When it comes to hearing aids, there is a lot of information out there. With so many styles, sizes and brands, it can be difficult to land on the one that’s right for you.
Here at SightMD, we strive to make things as clear as possible for our patients. So, what is the difference between small and large hearing aids? Does smaller always mean better? We have the answers! It’s important to know the pros and cons of each hearing aid size. From there, you can make an educated decision about which hearing aid is best for your needs!
Large Hearing Aids
When people think of “large” hearing aids, the first words that pop into mind may be “clunky,” “aging” or “old-fashioned.” While hearing aids years ago were overall larger than many of the hearing aid styles we have today, it does not necessarily mean they were bad. Today, we have made a lot of progress in the design of hearing aids. However, large hearing aids still exist for a reason.
The type of hearing aid you need largely depends on your degree of hearing loss. The more severe the hearing loss, the more powerful your hearing aid needs to be. The more powerful your hearing aid, the larger battery it needs.
With larger hearing aids, a larger battery is a necessary evil when it comes to properly powering your hearing aid. If you’ve had severe hearing loss, a larger hearing aid will deliver the best results.
It is also important to note that when we talk about “large” hearing aids, we mean “large” relative to other hearing aids. The four most common (and largest) types of hearing aid batteries are smaller than the diameter of a dime. Even while wearing a “large” hearing aid, almost nobody will be able to tell. If you’re embarrassed about needing a hearing aid, you don’t have to be!
Small Hearing Aids
As technology advances, the size of hearing aids shrink. This is great for people who have mild to moderate hearing loss and do not need extremely powerful hearing aid batteries. Remember, a smaller battery equals a smaller hearing aid. While small hearing aids are not for everyone, they can provide great hearing loss treatment while remaining fairly inconspicuous.
A smaller hearing aid can be the best option if you don’t need the most powerful battery. With a smaller battery, you can hear and nobody needs to know you’re wearing a hearing aid!
It is important to remember that smaller does not necessarily mean better in the world of hearing aid technology. Smaller hearing aids will simply not work for everyone, and that is ok.
The style, size, and look of each hearing aid will vary from brand to brand. Typically, these types of hearing aids are considered “small” hearing aids:
- Invisible In The Canal (IIC)
- Completely In the Canal (CIC)
- In The Canal (ITC)
- Mini BTE With Slim Tube and Tip
- Receiver In Ear
Invisible In The Canal (IIC)
There’s a reason the IIC is called invisible. When properly put in the canal of the ear, this style of “small” hearing aid is virtually imperceptible. This kind of hearing aid is best for those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss and is worn in both ears.
Completely In The Canal (CIC)
Like the IIC, the Completely In The Canal hearing aid is almost impossible to see. With different faceplate colors to choose from, this hearing aid blends in perfectly. When worn, all that you can see of the CIC hearing aid is the removal handle, which shows just outside the ear canal.
In The Canal (ITC)
For patients who don’t mind some of their hearing aid showing, an In The Canal hearing aid could be best. This hearing aid is for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
This small hearing aid is still almost impossible to see. Only a small portion of the hearing aid is visible in the outer ear.
Mini BTE with Slim Tube and Tip
Patients with mild or moderate hearing loss may want to consider a Mini BTE with slim tube and tip. These hearing aids have a small tube that routes sound into the ear.
The tube is then attached to a tip that sits gently in the ear canal without blocking it. Many patients with a Mini BTE feel like they aren’t wearing a hearing aid at all, since airflow and sound enter the ear right around the tip. With no clunky pieces, this hearing aid is amazing!
Receiver in Ear
Also known as a Receiver in the Canal, the Receiver in Ear hearing aid has a receiver that goes into the ear, and a case that sits behind your ear.
Though this sounds noticeable, a Receiver in Ear is anything but! This hearing aid style is best for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
Want to know which hearing aid size is best for you? SightMD is home to many audiologists with the experience and expertise necessary to fit you with the perfect hearing aid.