RIC hearing aids, also known as receiver-in-canal or open -fit hearing aids, are a popular option for new and experienced hearing aid wearers. Horizon Audiology, Inc. carries a wide range of hearing aid options, including open fit, full shell, and BTE hearing aids. Our skilled audiologists can provide a comprehensive hearing exam and help you decide which option works best for your level of hearing loss and your overall lifestyle.
RIC Hearing Aid Design
A RIC hearing aid has a base that’s worn behind the ear attached to a thin tube or wire that reaches into the ear canal. Instead of having a speaker attached directly to the external housing, as classic BTE hearing aids do, open-fit hearing aids position the speaker at the tip of the tube so sounds go directly into the ear. The receiver, the part containing the speaker, is easy to replace when needed. If excess moisture or ear wax gets into the receiver, your doctor can swap in a new one right away instead of having to send the entire hearing aid away for repair.
Benefits Of Open-Fit Hearing Aids
The small size of A RIC hearing aid makes it fairly unnoticeable when installed behind the ear, and these devices typically have a long battery life for worry-free wear. The compact design lets you enjoy the benefits of better hearing without making it obvious that you’re using a hearing aid. A RIC hearing aid also tends to be more comfortable than bulkier BTE models.
When compared to ITC and CTC hearing aids, open-fit models are slightly larger and more accessible when you need to make adjustments, such as raising or lowering the volume. The location of the base outside the ear makes changing batteries simple.
Open fit hearing aids offer the benefit of not fully plugging up the ear, so wearers enjoy a natural-feeling flow of air and sound through the ear canal. This also ensures that the hearing aid doesn’t amplify the sound of the wearer’s own voice in the ear, making it easier to hear external sounds even when you’re speaking aloud. Unwanted feedback tends to be less with this style of hearing aid compared to BTE hearing aids or other models that position the speaker and microphone closer together.
Who Should Use RIC Hearing Aids
Because of the lightweight, comfortable design, RIC hearing aids are ideal for hearing loss patients with mild to moderate hearing loss who are moderately active. The slim profile of the plastic tubing and the discreet positioning of the base unit behind the ears appeals to patients who want an unobtrusive device that doesn’t block the natural passage of sound or make the ears feel plugged.
RIC hearing aids are particularly beneficial for patients who have moderate hearing damage that’s noticeable at higher frequencies but whose ears still capture lower frequencies fairly well. The microphone preferentially picks up higher frequencies while letting lower tones travel naturally into the ear.
For a consultation about suspected hearing loss and to find out whether A RIC hearing aid is right for you, give Horizon Audiology, Inc. a call or fill out our online contact form, and one of our ear health professionals will get back to you. Set up an appointment today at one of our two offices in East Windsor or Pennington, New Jersey.