After a comprehensive hearing test by a qualified audiometrist or audiologist, you have been told you need a hearing aid. Unfortunately, many hearing clinics don’t really go the extra mile once you are diagnosed with needing one, and you might have found yourself on the street – a few brochures in your hand, technical jargon bouncing around your head and absolutely no clue on how to proceed.
At Ivory Hearing, we often meet clients who have received a diagnosis at another clinic but who end up on our doorstep as they don’t really have an idea of what they need to do next, what hearing aid they need to buy or even how a hearing aid works!
One of the biggest and most common questions you need to ask yourself once you find out you need a hearing aid concerns your hearing aid style. Generally speaking, hearing aids will either be in one of three places – in the ear, behind the ear or inside the canal – or receiver based. This blog post will concentrate on what canal hearing aids have to offer.
- Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids – if your hearing loss is mild to moderate, and you are self-conscious about others seeing your hearing aid, this is a good option for you. An IIC hearing aid is completely invisible to the eye as it is placed deep in the ear canal. It is fully automated so you don’t need to fiddle with any buttons, and it also minimises distortion by being that deep. If you pick this option, you need to be comfortable removing and inserting it by yourself on a daily basis.
- Completely-In-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids – these hearing aids are less visible, but not completely invisible in the ear. Often when the shape of a person’s ear is not conducive to an IIC hearing aid, a CIC hearing aid is chosen. It sits less deeply in the ear canal, more or less right after where an IIC hearing aid would end. A CIC hearing aid can be used for severe hearing loss, in certain circumstances.
- In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids – This is the most visible of the three canal hearing aids, as it sits in the external bowl, or cavum concha, of the ear, making it visible. Because it is bigger, it is more powerful and better suited to treating severe hearing loss, and can also integrate more features due to its larger size. Many find these more comfortable to use as it doesn’t sit completely inside the ear.
To summarise, canal hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet hearing aids and are best suited to mild or moderate hearing loss. However, these hearing aids degrade quicker due to sitting in a warm internal environment, and have a shorter battery life due to size.
At Ivory Hearing, we will always be there to help you make the right choice, but if you understand exactly what style would suit you best before visiting our clinic you will feel more knowledgeable about your decision.