Audiologist Amy White discusses some of the pros of RIC (receiver-in-the-canal) hearing aids. Some benefits include Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeability and directional microphones. RIC hearing aids may not be right for everybody. Talk to your Elk Grove Hearing Care specialist to determine which hearing aid style is best for you!
Hi, this is Dr. Amy White, audiologist at Elk Grove Hearing Care, and today I’m here to talk to you about a specific style of hearing aid called a RIC, or receiver-in-the-canal, or an over-the-ear hearing aid. These hearing aids are the kind where there’s the majority of the hearing aid goes on top of your ear and then there’s a little wire or something that goes down inside your ear, similar to what I wear myself, like this.
The benefits of the behind-the-ear, or RIC-style devices, are pretty many. Number one: They allow for the hearing aids to stream and connect to wireless or Bluetooth technology, like your cellphones, your computers, your televisions, so you can have an audio input directly into your hearing aids. It’s like wearing a little Bluetooth headset, but through your hearing aids. These little computers are very, very flexible and capable of doing numerous tasks.
Another benefit to the over-the-ear style of hearing aid is that most of them have an option of being rechargeable. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to worry about when your batteries are going to die or carry around disposable batteries, you can set these puppies in a charger and then have them ready to go for you in the morning. That has seems to become a very important aspect for a lot of our patients lately.
The third thing that’s great about the over-the-ear style of devices is that their size is large enough to accommodate for two microphones. Two microphones on a hearing aid we call directional microphones, and research has proven time and time again that directional microphones actually give us the best benefit of hearing well in background noise. So the way that hearing aids process and try to take care of background noise in order to allow us to hear better really depends on having these two microphones. Smaller hearing aids, where the whole thing goes in the ear, oftentimes only have enough room for one microphone, and those don’t perform quite as well in background noise as those that have the directional microphones. The flexibility of power, meaning the ability to meet more amounts of hearing loss as our hearing loss changes, behind-the-ear hearing aids are very, very flexible in terms of meeting everyone’s needs with power as well.
So when you go to consider new hearing aids, talking about whether an in-the-ear or an over-the-ear style is very, very important, and the benefits and pros and cons to each really are numerous, and so what’s best very much depends on what’s best for you. So if you have other questions about that, feel free to call us at 916-627-1494. Come see us at Elk Grove Hearing Care. We’d be happy to help you out.