Behind-the-ear vs. In-the-Ear.

Q: Do I have a choice for the style of hearing aid I wear? 

A:  The two styles of hearing aids are behind-the-ear and in-the-ear. With behind-the-ear devices, there are more stylistic options, more power options, and more technical features.  The trade-off is that the smallest in-the-ear aids can fit invisibly deep inside the ear canal, with fewer features and weaker power than behind-the-ear aids.

In-the-ear models typically fill the entire circumference of the canal, making them feel much more noticeable.  Most new hearing aid users find small behind-the-ear devices feel less noticeable when they are worn with tiny in the ear speakers. 

When the programming and power level of a behind-the-ear device is high enough, a custom ear mold may be necessary, filling the canal much like an in-the-ear aid.  In many of these cases, the patient still opts for a behind-the-ear aid due to better acoustics, less feedback, and more visible appeal.