If you’re struggling to hear and understand people in conversations, it might be time to talk to a Mercy hearing specialist about whether hearing aids are right for you.

At Mercy, we know that the thought of wearing a hearing aid can be unsettling. But we also know that hearing the people and world around you with greater ease and clarity can be life-changing.

Mercy ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists and audiologists are ready to help you select the hearing aid best suited to your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle.

Types of Hearing Aids

When selecting your hearing aids, there are a few things to consider – appearance, size and where they are placed in your ear. There are several different styles of hearing aids.

Receiver in Canal (RIC)

This device is very fashion-forward and positions the speaker directly in the ear canal and the amplifier is placed behind the ear. RIC devices are designed to enhance clarity for users with a variety of needs.

Completely in Canal (CIC)

These listening devices fit further in the ear canal and closer to the eardrum. However, they are restricted to persons with ear canals large enough to accommodate the insertion depth of the instrument into the ear. Some features may be limited to this style.

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

All of the electronics are held in a case that fits behind the ear. Tubing and an earmold are created to route the sound to the ear canal. Typically BTE listening devices are able to provide more amplification than smaller devices due to the larger power capabilities of the battery.

"Mini" BTE 

The parts of the "mini", also referred to as on-the-ear, are still in a case behind your ear, but it’s smaller, and you can barely see the tube connecting the case to the earpiece.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

All components of the instrument are housed in a case that fits into the ear canal.

What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting


Before your fitting, your Mercy hearing specialist will do an evaluation that involves hearing tests to measure what sounds you can hear at different pitches and volumes. You’ll discuss the available features and pricing, and then select the hearing aids you want to order.

To get a custom fit, it may be necessary to make a mold impression of your ear. About two weeks after your evaluation, you’ll come back for a fitting.


During that appointment, your hearing aids will be programmed using special software, and you’ll do a sound test to make sure the device is working properly. A thin tube will be placed in your ear near your eardrum to measure the impact of loud and soft sounds on your eardrum. Then the hearing aid is placed in your ear canal by the tube while your doctor balances the hearing aid amplification. This process usually takes about an hour.

Millions of people are living with hearing loss. However, only about one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. Don't let the joy of hearing slip away. Make an appointment today to talk with a Mercy hearing specialist.

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