When you start looking for hearing aids you’ll immediately encounter many distinct designs to choose from among them the receiver-in-canal (RIC). There are several advantages particular to RIC devices, in addition to many similarities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Continue reading to explore the advantages and disadvantages of receiver in canal devices.
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 hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major sections. The device’s microphone and amplifier are housed in a small case that rests behind the ear, while the receiver is found in a small bud that rests in the ear canal. The two parts are connected by a thin clear tube.
Separating the receiver from the rest of the device has a number of advantages. RIC hearing aids are less likely to inundate listeners with feedback, and occlusion is generally less of a problem. With the ear canal open, wearers generally report a more natural sound which is judged to be more comfortable. High-pitched tones are amplified particularly well, making receiver in canal hearing aids very suitable for individuals suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss.
The physical configuration of RIC devices also provides a number of advantages. Separating the two components allows the device to remain very small, making it unobtrusive and easy to hide. Its small size also allows it to fit very comfortably in and on the ear.
Receiver in canal devices do have several disadvantages. Frequent repairs to the receiver are one drawback to the RIC because the receiver end is vulnerable to moisture in the ear canal. 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.
Even though they have their flaws, receiver in canal hearing aids are a great choice for a large percentage of the hearing impaired population. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about receiver in canal and other styles of hearing aids.