In the event you or a loved one have been looking for a hearing aid, you have probably come across receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids. RIC devices are related to the more prevalent behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but they provide some benefits that BTE aids cannot. Read on to discover the pros and cons of RIC 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. Receiver in canal devices use a different strategy, separating the device’s components into two 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. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several advantages. Receiver in canal hearing aids are less likely to inundate listeners with feedback, and occlusion is generally less of a problem. 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. Both the case that fits behind the ear and the receiver in the ear are easy to hide. The small size of the case also makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear.
No device is perfect, and RIC aids do have some disadvantages. Frequent repairs to the receiver are one drawback to the RIC because the receiver end is vulnerable to moisture in the ear canal. Because they are so comfortable they are actually easier to lose: if you are not used to feeling them in your ear, you may not notice when they are gone. Finally, these devices tend to be high in price, making them difficult to obtain for some listeners.
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 RIC and other styles of hearing aids.