There is a stigma around wearing hearing aids. People often have hesitations around wearing them as they often believe it is a sign of aging. Others just don’t like the way they look. As technology advances, however, the size of hearing aids has begun to drastically reduce to the point where they are nearly invisible. The traditional hearing aid will sit around your ear with the receiver and battery sitting in a capsule located behind your ear, known as behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. These days, however, hearing aids are small enough to fit entirely in your ear canal, known as in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. There are various types of ITE, while only one is strictly “invisible” there are others that are discreet enough to warrant consideration when choosing your hearing aid.
GenTypes of ITE Hearing Aids
Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC) and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)
IIC (also known as Micro-CIC) and CIC are very similar in design. IIC hearing aids fit deep within the ear canal at the second bend and are very discreet, being near invisible to other people. CIC hearing aids fit about one to two millimetres inside the aperture of the ear canal, these are still difficult to see due to being hidden by the tragus. They use the natural shape of the ear to collect sound and provide a natural listening experience without the need for directional microphones. While being custom fit, not all ear canals will be large enough for IIC or CIC hearing aids, your audiologist will measure you up and advise you accordingly.
Due to their small size, they carry the smallest available battery which limits the output of the devices. This means they are only suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. The small battery also limits the technology meaning features such as wireless connectivity will be missing.
The size of IIC and CIC hearing aids can also mean they are difficult to manipulate and as such the wearer’s dexterity does need to be taken into consideration. There are also limitations due to being prone to ear wax and moisture damage. Extra care is required to ensure they are maintained in optimal condition.
ITC hearing aids, as the name suggests, also sit in the ear canal however they protrude past the tragus. This means they are more visible than IIC or CIC hearing aids. That being said, they are made to match your skin tone and therefore are not obvious to others unless they know what to look for. The greater size offers space for a larger battery, meaning they are suitable for greater hearing loss. The bigger battery also allows for more features including directional microphones, wireless connectivity and physical buttons used to adjust volume or modes.
More To Consider… A Better Ear Can Help
Some people love them for their reduced profile, some people love them for comfort and secure fit. ICE and CIC hearing aids offer good sound quality thanks to the seal they form within the ear canal and they look great. Speak to us today at A Better Ear about exploring your hearing aid options. We can measure and fit you to the most suitable product based on your needs and desires.