In-the-canal and completely-in-the-canal aids: These aids are contained in a tiny case that fits partly or completely into the ear canal. They are the smallest aids available and offer cosmetic and some listening advantages.
In-the-ear aids: All parts of the aid are contained in a shell that fills in the outer part of the ear. These aids are larger than canal aids, and for some people may be easier to handle than smaller aids.
Behind-the-ear aids: All parts are contained in a small plastic case that rests behind the ear; the case is connected to an earmold by a piece of clear tubing. This style is often chosen for young children for safety and growth reasons.
The majority of hearing aids sold today are canal hearing aids and in-the-ear hearing aids.
There are also special hearing aids built to handle very specific types of hearing losses. For example, a bone-conduction hearing aid uses a headband and a bone vibrator for individuals who have no ear canal or outer ear. There are hearing aids that route sounds coming to one ear over to the other ear for use by individuals who have no hearing in one ear. In special cases, hearing aids can be built into glasses for individuals who need that type of fitting. There are hearing aids available that can accommodate virtually any kind of hearing loss!