There are many types of hearing aids and the most common are listed below:
BTE Hearing Aids: Also referred to as behind ear hearing aids, behind-the-ear hearing aids, and open hearing aids, these are the largest hearing aids, with the electrical components of the hearing aid resting behind the ear. They are connected to the ear by a plastic tube, leading to either a custom-made earmold or a small, open earpiece. BTEs typically offer more power than custom-made hearing aids. Because the sensitive electrical components rest behind the ear, they are usually less susceptible to moisture or wax damage, requiring less frequent repairs. They also often offer many options for manual controls.
ITE Hearing Aids: Also referred to as it hearing aids, in ear hearing aids, and in-the-ear hearing aids, these are custom-made and fill the ear. The largest of the custom hearing aid styles, they offer the benefit of more power, as well as the ability to have controls on the hearing aid. Many in-the-ear hearing aids include a volume control, as well as a program push button or telephone switch.
ITC Hearing Aids: Also referred to as canal hearing aids or in-the-canal hearing aids, these are smaller than ITEs, typically filling less than half of th ear. Because they are smaller, they require better dexerity to operate and offer fewer manual controls. If a volume control is offered, it is often smaller and more difficult to manipulate.
CIC Hearing Aids: Also referred to as canal hearing aids, mini hearing aids, and completely-In-the-canal hearing aids, these are the tiniest hearing aids made. They fit very deeply in the canal, making them more likely to require repair due to damage from ear wax and moisture in the ear canal. CICs can be difficult to remove and insert, and typically do not have manual controls because of their small size. Of course, many people feel the nearly invisible look of CICs makes them a better choice than larger hearing aids.
RITE Hearing Aids: Receiver-in-the-Ear hearing aids have gained popularity in the last five years. The speaker of the hearing aid rests in the ear canal, but the microphone and processer sit in a tiny case behind the ear, connected to the ear piece by a thin wire. These hearing aids can often be fit to an open earpiece, allowing natural sound to enter the ear canal, which can help alleviate the "plugged up" feeling some hearing aid wearers experience. If the speaker malfunctions due to wax or moisture damage, it can often be replaced at the hearing aid center, rather than needing to be sent into the hearing aid manufacturer for repair.