Hearing Aids and Devices
Pacific Hearing Service offers a wide range of hearing devices from various manufacturers. Almost all hearing aids are digital and are programmed specifically for your hearing profile.
Open Ear Hearing Devices: Open ear hearing aids are very popular for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and are available in a wide range of options. You may see them referred to simply as open ear, receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), or receiver-in-canal (RIC). Since the ear canal is not blocked in these hearing devices, areas where you may have normal hearing are allowed to pass through naturally and the hearing aid provides amplification in the higher frequencies. Our patients at Pacific Hearing Service tell us open ear hearing aids sound more natural and are very comfortable since they are so lightweight and there is not much bulk in the ear. They are also very cosmetically appealing since they “hide” in the hairline on top of the ear. For most people they are virtually invisible!
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Devices: These are also known as BTE hearing aids. With conventional BTE aids, a custom earmold attaches to the hearing aid and channels the sound into your ear. The earmold is made by making a silicone impression of your ear and ear canal. It is then sent to a lab that makes the customized earmold. These hearing aids are very sturdy and also have the potential for the most power. In recent years, more powerful RIC and RITE hearing aids (see above) have become available with custom earmolds to fit more severe hearing loss. These smaller BTE hearing aids also have great cosmetic appeal.
Custom Hearing Devices: As the name implies, these hearing aids are “custom made” for your ear and programmed specifically for your hearing loss. They are individually manufactured from a silicone impression made of your ear. They come in a range of sizes: in-the-ear (ITE), half shell, in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) shown above. They are also available in very small hearing devices called invisible in the canal (IIC) hearing aids. (See photo below.) IIC hearing aids are designed to be completely hidden and fit deep in the ear canal closer to the eardrum than other hearing aids.
Extended Wear Hearing Devices: The Lyric hearing aid by Phonak is an extended wear hearing aid that fits deep into the ear canal. It is worn 24 hours a day and typically lasts from two to four months. At Pacific Hearing Service we have found that this device works very well for people who lead active lifestyles. It’s also a great product for people who find the maintenance and upkeep of hearing aids to be a hassle or problematic. Click here to learn more about this specialized device