Benefits and Drawbacks of Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) Model Hearing Aids
Looking for the best hearing aids will expose you to a number of different styles, including receiver-in-canal (RIC). There are a number of benefits unique to receiver in canal devices, as well as many similarities with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. This short article serves as a quick introduction of the main benefits and drawbacks of the RIC hearing aid.
In behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids, the device’s components are all held in the same case: either behind the ear or in the ear. RIC hearing aids, on the other hand, separate the components into two major sections. A case behind the ear holds the aid’s amplifier and microphone, while a small bud that contains the receiver is used inside the ear canal. A small tube connects the receiver to the case.
Separation of the receiver into its own compartment has several advantages. Feedback and occlusion tend to be much less of a problem with RIC devices than they are with other hearing aids. With the ear canal open, wearers generally report a more natural sound which is judged to be more comfortable. This type of device a great choice for listeners with mild to moderate hearing issues because it amplifies high-pitched tones exceptionally well.
There is also a physical advantage to the RIC’s split configuration. Separating the two components allows the device to remain very small, making it unobtrusive and easy to hide. Its small size also allows it to fit very comfortably in and on the ear.
No device is perfect, and RIC aids do have some disadvantages. Frequent repairs to the receiver are one drawback to the receiver in canal because the receiver end is vulnerable to moisture in the ear canal. Amazingly, the potential for loss is another drawback. Because they are so small and lightweight it can take some time for the user to realize that the hearing aid is missing. Compared to other hearing aid styles, receiver in canal designs are average to above average in cost.
Every hearing aid style has specific pros and cons. This is just a brief overview of the popular receiver in canal style. Consult your hearing specialist to learn more about RIC and other styles of hearing aids.