Typically used for people of all ages with a mild to profound hearing loss, BTE hearing aids consist of a hard plastic unit worn behind the ear which contains the electronic components of the hearing aid. Sound travels through the unit and into the earmold in the ear.
The ITE hearing aid consists of a hard plastic shell which is custom made to fit your ear canal and outer ear. ITE hearing aids are typically prescribed to patients with a mild to severe hearing loss, however due to the occluding nature of the hearing aid, those with a mild hearing loss often prefer the sound achieved when using a more open-fit aid. This is because when an aid occludes the ear, all the sound received by the brain is artificial, as it limits the natural sound that can get through.
ITE aids are not typically worn by children, due to the custom casings needing to be frequently replaced as the ear grows.
CIC hearing aids are similar in comparison to ITEs in that they also consist of a hard plastic shell custom made to fit your ear canal. However, they are typically smaller and sit deeper in the canal. This has its benefits as a more cosmetic option, however sacrificing size can also mean sacrificing power, features and battery size.
CIC aids are also not typically worn by children, due to the custom casings needing to be frequently replaced as the ear grows.