What are RIC hearing aids?Cindy
RIC hearing aids are exactly what they sound like – hearing aids with a sound receiver that wraps around the outer ear and is inserted into the ear canal. They’re a kind of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, but a more specific type of model.
To fully define RIC hearing aids, we’ll first need to go over BTE hearing aids. BTE hearing aids are the most common form of hearing aid – they’re widely considered to be the easiest hearing aids to use, and come with easily accessible battery ports (or even rechargeability).
Since they’re bigger, they can also come with a few more features, like Bluetooth, tinnitus cancellers, or whatever other goodies you might need. Oftentimes you can also pick a color!
RIC hearing aid features
Other than standard BTE features, which are all discussed in our BTE hearing aid article, the big difference between RIC hearing aids and other options is the in-ear receiver. This receiver is a small squishy rubber attachment that is fed directly into the ear canal.
Hearing aid receivers are called “receivers” because they “receive” the sound from the hearing aid itself, and then project it into your ear. Yes, calling it a receiver when it actually gives sound to you is a bit backwards, but we don’t make the terms.
Since they project the sound, receivers are what govern the loudness of the sound coming from the hearing aid itself. With a BTE hearing aid, the receiver is fixed into the hard silicone mold, which means it is inextricable from the hearing aid itself.
However, with an RIC hearing aid, the receiver can be removed and replaced with little time or money lost. Since receivers govern the sound output, the possibility to remove and change receivers allows for a bit more flexibility in case the user’s level of hearing loss changes.
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