Behind the ear? Ear canal? RIC machine? Which hearing aid is right for you?Cindy
Regarding the selection of hearing aids, there is an indispensable link, which is also a link that everyone pays close attention to-the appearance of hearing aids. Most hearing impaired friends want hearing aids to be hidden.
According to survey and analysis of relevant data, European and American countries have apparently moved to RIC hearing aids in the past few years. Why are RIC hearing aids so popular in developed countries such as Europe and the United States?
What is a RIC hearing aid?
There are three types of common hearing aids:
BTE Hearing Aid (BTE)
Hearing Aid (ITE)
Receiver External Hearing Aid (RIC)
The RIC type hearing aid refers to peeling the receiver inside the hearing aid directly into the ear canal, and the middle is connected through an external catheter with a special metal wire.
These hearing aids are also very concealed to wear, and often only one thin line can be observed from the front and sides, which will be ignored if they are not careful; from the back, you can see the compact hearing aid body, as long as the hair is slightly longer. Obstruct.
Why do countries like Europe and the United States prefer RIC machines?
Looking at the sales of hearing aids in the past 5 years (2013-2019), the majority of hearing aids in the Chinese market are mainly BTE (back-ear devices), followed by ITE (ear-canal hearing aids). Half of the market. The market share of RIC hearing aids is less than 10%, and has grown very slowly in the past 5 years.
In Japan, the proportion of ITE is also very large, but the market share of RIC hearing aids has gradually increased in the past five years, and even occupied the BTE market. According to industry forecasts, the proportion of RIC hearing aids will reach 50% by 2024.
In Europe and the United States, the RIC-type hearing aid now accounts for 60% of the United States, but as early as 2013, the share of RIC-type hearing aids exceeded 50%. German RIC hearing aids have also grown rapidly in recent years, and are expected to reach 50% of the market share in 2019.
So why are RIC hearing aids so popular in developed countries such as Europe and the United States?
Surveys show that 10 years ago in the US market, the concealment of hearing aids is the most important issue for users. The latest quarterly survey of the United States hearing aid market in 2018 shows that hearing aid sound quality and effects have become the primary consideration for users. Users no longer blindly seek concealment, and the need for concealment is more rational.
RIC hearing aids are popular in large part because they combine the benefits of BTE and ITE.
BTE is considered the best choice for people with severe and severe hearing loss. Its advantage is that the battery is large and its life is relatively long. At the same time, because of the long distance between the sound outlet and the microphone, howling is not easy to occur under the condition of high power.
In terms of appearance, ITE (ear canal hearing aid) and CIC (full ear canal hearing aid) have always been considered as the best choices. Their biggest advantage is concealment, but as Asians with relatively small ear canals, sometimes they are not necessarily concealed.
Therefore, we often hear patients complaining that ITE is too large or that CIC has no effect at all.
The RIC type hearing aid body is smaller in size and more beautiful in appearance. At the same time, it takes into account the advantage of the distance between the BTE sound hole and the microphone, and can achieve the same effect as the BTE in power amplification. In addition, the receiver of the RIC type hearing aid is placed in the ear canal, and the receiver of different power can be replaced as needed.
What are the advantages of RIC hearing aids?
BTE generally uses conventional No. 13 sound tube to conduct sound. The sound effect of 13 sound tube is very good, and there is enough power for amplification. If you add a horn sound tube, you can also increase the high frequency gain significantly.
But the 13th sound guide tube also has a big disadvantage, that is, the appearance is not good, too thick and obvious. Therefore, many fitting engineers will replace the 13th sound tube with a thin sound tube (not the thin sound tube of the RIC machine, but the BTE thin sound tube) when matching the BTE. Although the thin acoustic tube is more beautiful, it has a great impact on the acoustic transmission, which will cause a lot of loss at high frequencies. This means that hearing aids must work harder to compensate for the loss of high-frequency gain, and the end result is more battery consumption.
Compared with BTE, the external auditory canal resonance effect of the RIC hearing aid is smaller, the intermediate frequency has a smoother response, the high frequency gain and output can be greater, both the concealment of the thin tube and the better sound quality.
The closer the microphone is to the receiver, the higher the chance of howling. Due to the extension of the distance between the receiver and the microphone, the chance of howling after wearing the RIC machine will be greatly reduced.
RIC hearing aids can be repaired quickly in stores. After the receiver breaks down, you only need to go to the store for a few minutes to exchange for a new one, no waiting period for maintenance. ITE and BTE must be returned for repair.
In addition, if the patient has a hearing loss during the one or two years or a short period of time during the use of the hearing aid, there is no need to buy another pair, and only a receiver needs to be replaced.