As an experienced audiologist, I help patients find the best hearing aid for their needs. Today, I’d like to discuss “invisible” hearing aids and some of the pros and cons associated with these devices.
Invisible hearing aids, such as Invisible In-The-Canal (IIC) and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) models, are designed to be harder to see, providing a high cosmetic appeal. One of the main advantages of these devices is their discreet nature, which can help reduce the wearers perception of the social stigma sometimes associated with hearing aids.
There are however some limitations to consider when looking at an invisible hearing aid. Due to their small size, they tend to be more suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, as their small speakers, and power, limit the output of the devices. Additionally, their compact design means they often lack features found in larger hearing aids, such as wireless connectivity, directional microphones, and aggressive background noise suppression. Battery life may also be of concern, with small size 10 batteries needing to be replaced every 1-2 days.
In-The-Canal (ITC) hearing aids, although not strictly “invisible,” are still quite discreet and offer some advantages over their smaller counterparts. Their larger size allows for more features, such as directional microphones, wireless connectivity, and rechargeable batteries. ITC devices also tend to be more suitable for a wider range of hearing loss, thanks to their larger speakers and power capacity.
When considering an invisible hearing aid, it’s essential to remember that they are not suitable for everyone. Your audiologist will be able to advise if your ear canal can accommodate an IIC or CIC device.
Additionally, those with dexterity issues or concerns about ear wax and moisture damage may find these devices challenging to maintain.
In conclusion, some hearing aids offer the benefits of being harder to see, especially when viewed from behind. However, it’s important to consider their limitations and consult with an audiologist who follows best practice guidelines to find a solution that works for you. It may be that a different style is similarly discrete and offers better performance in a variety of circumstances.
Seeking reputable and effective hearing health care can lead to better outcomes including improved mood, reduced isolation, and better connections with loved ones, so don’t hesitate to explore all your options.
Penelope is a passionate hearing health advocate and the founder of A Better Ear in Cleveland. Send your hearing health care questions to email@example.com and she will answer them in a future column.