What style of hearing aid should I buy?
There are a wide range of style to choose from, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.
IIC or invisible in the canal hearing aids are very discrete and can be very effective with mild to moderate hearing losses. You do need good manual dexterity as they can be quite fiddly and your ear canals need to be large enough for them to be fitted. They tend to be lower in power than larger aids and have fewer connectivity options such as remote controls and wireless streaming devices.
ITE or In-The-Ear are just a little bit larger and fit just within the opening of the ear canal. They are still very discrete and have a broader range of power compared to IIC devices. They are also able to have wireless chips in enabling them to be connected to really useful streaming devices such as a wireless TV streamer which will send the sound from your television directly to your hearing aids.
MIH or Microphone in Helix hearing aids are a good option for someone who struggles with a smaller device but would still prefer a more discrete fitting. They are able to be a little more powerful still and have all of the connectivity options of In the Ear or larger hearing aids.
RIC or Receiver in the Ear hearing aids have a small hearing aid behind the ear with a very thin wire leading to the receiver (or speaker) sitting in the ear canal. This style is capable of fitting a wide range of hearing losses and has excellent connectivity options. Because there are no custom made shells (in most cases) with this type of hearing aid maintenance and repair is much faster and easier than with a custom device.
BTE or Behind the Ear is a more traditional fitting hearing aid usually with a conventional earmould in the bowl of the ear. These are ideal for more severe hearing losses requiring a very powerful hearing aid. Battery life and connectivity are very good in this type of hearing aid.
Hearing aid manufacturers offer their hearing aids in different technology levels. Depending on your lifestyle you may not require all the bells and whistles to hear perfectly well. If you are regularly in challenging hearing environments you may benefit from more advanced sound processing technology.