When you start shopping for hearing aids you’ll immediately come across many different styles to choose from including the receiver-in-canal (RIC). There are several benefits particular to RIC devices, in addition to many similarities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. This article explores some of the main benefits and drawbacks of the RIC hearing aid style.
Many readers will be familiar with behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids where all the components are housed inside a single case. RIC devices use a different strategy, separating the device’s components into two 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. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several advantages. 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.
There is also a physical advantage to the RIC’s split configuration. 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. 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, receiver in canal designs are average to above average in cost.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular RIC style. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about receiver in canal and other styles of hearing aids.