You have been diagnosed with hearing loss and your hearing care professional recommends that you start wearing hearing aids. Thanks to today's technology, you have several styles to choose from, some of which are almost invisible. But which hearing aid is the right one for you?
Customised hearing aids are one of the options for choosing a discreet hearing aid that matches the shape of your ear canal.
You can choose between many different styles depending on the degree of your hearing loss and your personal preferences. The two smallest and most discreet styles are:
- CICs (completely-in-canal): the hearing aid sits completely in the canal part of your ear not in the concha/bowl of your ear.
- ICIs (invisible-in-canal): the hearing aid sits even deeper in the canal part of your ear and is sometimes black, to blend better in with the shadow in your ear.
It can be tempting to choose the most discreet models for the sake of aesthetics. These models are suitable for most people, but do they match your needs?
Here are some pros and cons of these hearing aids.
Benefits of "invisible" hearing aids
- They are very discreet and a good choice if you prefer enjoying the benefit of good hearing without a visible hearing aid. They do not have external tubes or wires. Finally, they are lightweight and comfortable for most users as they are custom made for your ears.
- In terms of functionality, the position in the ear canal facilitates the use of e.g., glasses, hats, phones, ear buds and headphones. In addition, they are protected by the outer ear, which makes them less sensitive to wind noise.
In-the-ear hearing aids are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss, which includes most people with hearing loss.
- They are made to fit your lifestyle regardless of whether your hobby is doing sports, shopping, or something else.
A few cons of in-the-ear hearing aids
- They may require a bit more maintenance as moisture and ear wax can more readily enter the hearing aid. Also, handling small batteries can be a challenge for some people with vision and/or dexterity problems.
- If you have mild hearing loss, you may notice that you hear your own voice more than you are used to because you are placing an object in the ear many hours per day. This can take some time getting used to.
- Smaller hearing aids can sometimes come with compromises in terms of functionality and audiological performance. Most notably, there isn’t sufficient room in IICs and CICs for two microphones. A hearing aid with two microphones is needed to help you hear best in situations with a lot of sound sources and background noise.
- Bluetooth connectivity is not possible in most IIC and CIC hearing aid styles, simply because there is not sufficient room for more technology in the devices. Therefore, you also won't be able to use the Oticon ON app, which serves as a remote control and provides usage statistics and a hearing training tool called ‘HearingFitness’.
Choosing the right hearing aids for your needs
In-the-ear hearing aids are not necessarily right for everyone. Do not hesitate to ask your hearing care professional for advice. Talk to them about your lifestyle and the listening surroundings you encounter in your daily life. This will allow them to determine which hearing aid is best suited for your hearing loss.
It all starts with an assessment of your hearing. Making an appointment with a hearing care professional is simple!
Find your nearest hearing care professional