What is an In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aid?
In the canal hearing aids (ITC) have been around on the private market for years. They are a style of custom made in the ear hearing aid originally designed to be more discreet than previous behind the ear models. Studies show that people are more likely to wear their devices if they are unnoticeable to others, hence the development of smaller and smaller hearing aids. With this device there is a portion of the hearing aid that sits within the ear canal and another small part that shows in bowl of the outer ear.
Because this aid sits within the ear itself, the telephone can be used in the natural way, although as there is a part sitting in the bowl of the ear, some users report they take care not to let the phone touch the aid to avoid possible feedback sound.
It should be noted that even though the aid looks good, you must be able to use it. When considering smaller models, it’s crucial to have the ability to handle the product which includes insert, removal, battery replacement and cleaning. Based on experience, the jury is out on whether this style makes it easier or harder for insertion as it very much depends on the user! At Integrate Hearing we pride ourselves on our ability to find the best suited hearing aids for each wearer and that you will never purchase aids that you cannot manage.
Are ITC devices compatible with Bluetooth and rechargeable technologies?
Yes. Most ITC models are large enough to fit these components within the hearing aids, so unless you have particularly small ears (in which case you may require a slightly larger ITE style hearing aid in order to keep these functions) you are open to these technology options. Find out more about “In-The-Ear” Models. Custom rechargeable hearing aids are currently only being offered by one manufacturers Starkey.
In the canal (ITC) models vs in the ear (ITE) models
Some differences between the two custom made models:
- ITE style may take a larger battery
- ITE often easier to insert as larger and therefore more to hold on to
- ITE sometimes offer higher power level
- ITC not always an option for none-standard ear shapes/sizes
Are they suitable with severe hearing loss?
Due to their size, there is a greater seal on the ear canal to allow for less feedback than smaller
models and therefore your aid can reach higher levels than the IIC or CIC styles. This makes them a
good option for those with severe losses looking for discretion.
(ITC) Pros and Cons
- Custom made and comfortable
- Natural use with the telephone
- May be a good option with dexterity problems
- Suitable for severe losses
- Full technology functionality in (most cases) in comparison to small custom styles
- Rechargeable and Bluetooth options
- Second largest custom style – more discreet models available
- Size and shape may prove difficult for wearers with dexterity issues
- May be more susceptible to moisture/ear wax in comparison to BTE styles
Model Hearing Aid Batteries and Accessories
This style also required replacement ear wax filters which help to prevent wax from damaging the internal component that sit within the aid. Although one manufacturer offers a rechargeable option, most ITC models will require 312 or 13 batteries.
Don’t worry, we will explain all necessary running costs, how often items will need replacement, what comes as standard or the replacement cost. At Integrate Hearing we make sure you are up to speed with everything you need to know so there will be no hidden costs!
ITC – are these custom in the ear devices available on the NHS?
Most NHS providers still currently only offer BTE style hearing aids. These can come in both the more traditional style with a custom-made earmould or for milder losses you will be offered an open fit BTE with a slim tube. More recently some NHS providers have started to offer Receiver in canal (RIC)
style aids, although it is only some. For more discreet models such as custom in the canal styles you may need to see a private audiologist. At Integrate Hearing we offer all styles of hearing aids from all UK leading manufacturers. Find out more about our other discreet hearing aid styles.
Are In-the- canal RICs right for you? How much do they cost?
At Integrate hearing we offer invisible in the canal hearing aids from all manufacturers at all price points. To find out more about our 4 ranges of aids click here (link prices page) or contact us on 01978799387 to discuss our products and book a hearing aid assessment for a 14-day free trial.