The following is a guest post by Alex Ingham of the UK-based company Your Hearing.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing devices are among the most commonly prescribed for hearing losses ranging from mild to severe. They are easy to produce and operate, and are generally comfortable to wear. But like any hearing device, ITE aids have both advantages and downsides that may make them more or less suitable for certain users. It is important to consider one's needs and the severity of the hearing loss before choosing a particular type of hearing aid.
Custom Designed for You
The biggest advantage is the fact that all in-the-ear devices are created to specifically to fit the user's ear. A mould is taken to make sure that the device fits comfortably, and so that the hearing aid can work perfectly. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit right, the sound will be weakened and may also produce ringing feedback.
ITE devices are lightweight, which keeps them comfortable, and there are no wires or tubes to worry about. However, the moulding process can lead to problems with people getting hearing aids via the National Health Service (in the UK), as hospitals and audiologists are more likely to offer behind-the-ear (BTE) devices that are more inexpensive to manufacture.
Another downside related to the need for ITEs to fit perfectly in the canal is that it is difficult to fit children, as their ears are continuously growing. However, the devices are perfect for fully-grown adults. It is possible to buy in-the-ear hearing aids for children, but they will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Controls on the Plastic Shell
Like behind-the-ear hearing devices, ITE aids offer the ability to adjust the volume and switch between pre-programmed settings. This is much easier with ITE aids than if it is with in-the-canal devices, because the plastic shell is easy to reach and click the buttons to the requisite setting. However, it can take some time to get used to the settings, since the user cannot see the buttons while wearing.
ITE hearing devices are better for talking on the telephone when compared to in-the-canal devices. They also come in different types of technology, including programmable and digital, for ease of use.
Some people want hearing aids that cannot be seen by others; they may be self-conscious about their hearing loss or because they want something for a special occasion. While I.T.E devices are placed within the ear, they are still visible from the outside. The plastic shell sits around the ear to make them easier to control. Users looking for aids completely invisible from observers would need to opt for the completely-in-the-canal hearing aids.
When making a choice about one's hearing aids, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each one so that you can make a well-informed choice. This requires consulting a professional and considering the details of the wearer's everyday activities, aesthetic preferences, and the severity of hearing loss. Some devices are perfect for children with severe loss while others are more suitable for adults with more mild losses.
About the Author: Alex Ingham has written many articles on hearing loss for the UK-based company Your Hearing. She regularly writes about hearing loss symptoms, hearing loss in children, as well as different types of hearing devices. Your Hearing prides itself on offering impartial, independent information to hearing aid users.