If you or a family member have been looking for a hearing assistance device, you have likely come across receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. There are a number of benefits particular to RIC devices, in addition to many similarities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. This article explores some of the key benefits and drawbacks of the RIC hearing aid model.
In behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids, the device’s components are all held in the same case: either behind the ear or in the ear. RIC hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major 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. The receiver is connected to the case by a thin tube.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several advantages. Feedback and occlusion tend to be much less of a problem with RIC devices than they are with other hearing aids. These devices also tend to procedure a more natural sound, allowing listeners to enjoy a more comfortable experience. RIC hearing aids are favored by people with mild to moderate hearing losses because they amplify high-pitched sounds very well.
There is also a physical advantage to the RIC’s split configuration. 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 hearing aids do have a few disadvantages to be aware of. Compared to other types of hearing aids, RIC aids are particularly vulnerable to moisture in the ear, necessitating frequent repairs. Their comfort can also be a disadvantage: because users do not feel them in or on their ear, they are less likely to notice if they lose them. Compared to other hearing aid styles, receiver in canal designs are average to above average in cost.
Receiver-in-ear hearing aids do have their flaws, but their numerous advantages make them a worthwhile choice for many listeners. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about receiver in canal and other styles of hearing aids.