Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid
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Why Hearing Aid Clinics?
The price of a standard receive-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid may vary as per model and company. The RIC hearing aids are relatively new to the market and are technologically advanced. Thus, they often can be more expensive than other types of BTE hearing aids. After all, being able to hear the laughter of your friends and family, as well as your favorite music or movie, is worth the price of the RIC hearing aids.
Though the price of RIC models might not be a bargain, it is important to understand that you are paying for far more than just the devices themselves. Hearing aid pricing includes the cost of the device itself as well as the services of the professional. The cost of a hearing aid usually includes a hearing test, consultation, initial fitting, and follow-up appointment for adjustments. This process ensures that the hearing aids you purchase will be customized for your unique hearing needs.
Some private insurance policies cover part of or all of the cost of hearing aids — check your policy to be sure. If you are a veteran, you may be able to get your hearing aid at no cost through the Veterans Administration (VA).
Also, consider purchasing the aftercare plan with your RIC hearing aid. The RIC models are susceptible to damage from sweat, natural ear moisture, and earwax build-up because the receiver sits in the ear canal. Therefore, this can result in extra repair costs.
Purchasing RIC hearing aids is an important investment in your quality of life, career, relationships, and overall health. Talk to an audiologist about your needs and expectations. Ask him/her what is included in the price of RIC hearing aid, so you understand what you are purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids are similar to a behind-the-ear (BTE) models with the speaker or receiver in the canal of the ear. These devices are the new generation of high-performance and technologically advanced hearing aids. This type of hearing aid is one of the most popular types of hearing aid on the market. Most RIC models are available in different colors so they can blend in with your hair or skin tone.
- RIC hearing aids are often standard for first time hearing aid wearers because of their ease of use and sleek design which makes adjusting the device much easier. Their design is based on the standard behind-the-ear design. While the receiver sits directly in the ear canal, the microphone and processor are housed in a separate shell behind the ear. The two are linked together with a thin and discreet tube or wire. The behind-the-ear portion is much less visible than in the traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids. Moreover, air and sound can continue to flow to the ear canal naturally, which lessens an unpleasant feeling that the ear is blocked.
- RIC hearing aids are exceptionally good at amplifying high-frequency sounds while still producing a natural sound as a result. These devices are great if you experience an early-onset or mild to moderate hearing loss. If you have more severe levels of hearing loss, there are also RIC models that are specifically designed for severe levels of hearing loss. Before you purchase a hearing aid, visit your local audiologist first.
Both RIC and BTE types of hearing aids come in a variety of models to suit different lifestyles. Here are a few things to consider.
- If you are one of those people who does public speaking or you have a very active social life, RIC might be a better solution because RIC’s smaller, more discreet design makes it less noticeable to BTE hearing aids have traditionally the larger style. However, the big-and-bulky reputation of BTE styles is slowly fading. Many models today have a slimmer, sleeker design like the RIC hearing aids.
- The level of hearing loss is also crucial when it comes to choosing between RIC or BTE models. If you have mild or moderate hearing loss, the RIC hearing aids may be the right solution. The BTE types, on the other hand, might be better for severe hearing loss since they offer a custom earmold and will give you the biggest boost in sound at both high and low frequencies. RIC hearing aids can also offer a considerable range, but the BTE style provides a bigger boost if you have severe hearing loss.
- If you love staying active and outdoors, then the RIC styles might not be the best choice. Since the receiver sits in the ear canal, a RIC hearing aid is vulnerable to moisture and earwax build-up. However, the receiver of the hearing can be replaced at a hearing clinic quickly and easily. On the other hand, the BTE’s custom ear mold easily detaches and can be cleaned by soapy, warm water at the convenience of your home.
- If you spend a lot of time on the phone or tablet, both RIC and BTE hearing aids are available in models that offer direct streaming of phone calls, video, and music from your favorite Bluetooth devices.
Which is the right hearing aid for you? Visit an audiologist near you to find the right answer.
Like many hearing devices, RIC hearing aids have pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids:
- The RIC hearing aids are one of the most popular models of hearing aids due to their effectiveness and the ease of wearing. Virtually unnoticeable when worn, the RIC hearing aids are sleek and discreet because the RIC’s casing does not need to house the speaker. Even the wire that connects the casing to the ear dome is almost invisible unless someone is purposely looking for it. The RIC hearing aids are also available in mini sizes and a variety of color options.
- The RIC’s are exceptionally lightweight which makes them very comfortable to wear. Their placement is a less intrusive placement than other hearing aid models.
- The RIC devices are a type of open-fit hearing aid that uses a thin plastic “micro” tube that extends from the body of the hearing aid (stored behind the ear) over the outer ear and into the ear canal. A small, soft tip sits inside the ear canal without sealing it. This way, air, and sound can continue to flow to the ear canal naturally and suffer less from feedback. Since the microphone and receiver are separated, the annoying whistling sounds produced by the feedback are reduced. Besides, air and sound can continue to flow to the ear canal naturally, which lessens hearing your own voice too loudly, experiencing noisy sounds when chewing or swallowing food, and the unpleasant feeling that your ear is blocked.
- The RIC hearing aids offer natural sound quality and maximum comfort since the ear canal isn’t covered up. Sounds tend to be more clear and intact as the speaker rests closer to the ear canal. The RIC hearing aids substantially amplify sounds in both high-frequency and low-frequency ranges, which makes them a great solution for almost all levels of hearing loss.
- Surprisingly, the potential for loss is a drawback. The RIC hearing aids are tiny and lightweight, and users may have problems with losing them after they take them out.
- RIC hearing aids are vulnerable to moisture and earwax build-up because the receiver sits directly in the ear canal. However, the receiver of the hearing can be replaced at a hearing clinic quickly and easily.
The Receiver-in-ear hearing aids have numerous pros which make them a worthwhile choice for many users.
The revolutionary receiver-in-canal hearing aids ensure that speech is crystal-clear and natural even in noisy environments. Which RIC hearing aid is right for you depends on many factors, including desired features, your ear anatomy, specific lifestyle needs, budget, cosmetic appeal, and more. It is best to work with an audiologist at one of our 1000+ partner locations to determine the right RIC model for you.