Completely in the canal (CIC) hearing aids
There are for main types of hearing aid: Behind The Ear (BTE), In The Ear (ITE), In The Canal (ITC) and Completely In Canal (CIC). Each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are thinking of buying a new hearing aid, it is worth spending some time thinking about which type would be best for you – ideally you should visit an audiologist or aid vendor who will give you a hearing assessment and advice on which aids would be most suitable for you.
Completely In the Canal (CIC)
Completely in the canal hearing aids are the smallest of all the models that are available today. They fit completely into your ear canal (hence the name!) and are virtually invisible to other people – usually only a small plastic wire protrudes from your canal and maybe be visible to people who are looking very closely at your ear. The plastic wire is necessary to enable you to pull the hearing aid out of your ear – it sits too far down the canal for you to be able to pull it out without the wire.
Similar feedback problems to the ITE and ITC aids could be experienced with CIC models – always try them out first if you intend to buy a pair. Test them when you are speaking on the phone to make sure they don’t produce too much feedback. In my experience, feedback has been less of a problem with CIC hearing aids than with ITC models – I assume this is because the receiver is further down the canal and not so close to the phone when you place it to your ear.
Because of their small size, CIC hearing aids are the least poweful. They will most likely be recommended to people with mild to moderate hearing loss. You will usually find that CIC aids are the most expensive of all the models available.
Because the electronic components of CIC hearing aids are inside your ear they are suspectible to damage from ear wax and moisture. You should receive a set of brushes and other tools to help you keep your CIC aid clean and in good working order.