What is an In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aid?
In the ear hearing aids (ITE) are a great choice of aid for people wanting the most advanced technology within their aid who are limited by dexterity, eyesight or visual impairment. They are sometimes referred to as “full shell” hearing aids and sit within the bowl of the ear, similar to the earmould of the traditional behind the ear style, but with all the components sitting within the ear rather than behind it. 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.
Wearers with dexterity issues can sometimes find smaller models like IIC, CIC or ITC too small to handle. Similarly, some wearers struggle to correctly place the hearing aid on top of the ear with BTE devices. Therefore, this style is a good alternative, and this model is often recommended for those looking for something different or smaller than the behind the ear models but also wanting ease of use and insertion, due to its larger size.
Are full shell devices compatible with Bluetooth and rechargeable technologies?
Yes. Most ITE models are large enough to fit these components within the hearing aids. Find out more about Bluetooth hearing aids. Custom rechargeable hearing aids are currently only being offered by one manufacturers Starkey.
Full Shell (ITE) models Vs in the canal (ITC) 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
- ITE good option for extra retention in the ear 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 or ease of use.
(ITE) Pros & Cons
- Custom made and comfortable
- Natural use with the telephone
- Suitable for severe losses
- Full technology functionality in (most cases) in comparison to small custom styles
- Rechargeable and Bluetooth options
- May be good option for those with dexterity issues due to larger size
- Battery insertion easier as larger battery than some smaller custom models
- Largest custom style – more discreet models available
- May be more susceptible to moisture/ear wax in comparison to BTE styles
- Can cause occlusion with some hearing losses -echo sound when speaking/eating
- Can be susceptible to wind noise as not located completely within the ear canal
Full Shell 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 ITE models will require 13 batteries, however the battery life is the standard 7-14 days as opposed to 2-5 in smaller devices.
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!
ITE – 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 ear mold 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 ear 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.
Our Top Picks of 2021 best in-the-ear models
- Phonak Virto
- Widex Moment
- Starkey Livia Edge
Are In-the- canal RICs right for you? How much do they cost?
At Integrate hearing we offer invisible in the ear hearing aids from all manufacturers, including rechargeable and Bluetooth models at all price points. To find out more about our 4 ranges of aids click here or contact us on 01978799387 to discuss our products and book a hearing aid assessment for a 14-day free trial.