Invisible Hearing Aids
When hearing aids first came onto the market, choices were minimal. In recent years, we've come a long way! Many diverse shapes and sizes of hearing aids are now available, and some are so discreet that people can hardly see them at all! For all your questions concerning the smallest of them all, the invisible hearing aid, read on for more information.
What is an invisible hearing aid?
An invisible hearing aid is a hearing aid that is designed to fit entirely inside the ear canal. Only two types could qualify as invisible: the invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aid and the completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid. Although other hearing aid types exist, these are the only two which fit entirely within the ear canal, rendering them indistinguishable to pretty much everyone in the room.
Invisible hearing aids are widely available and are produced by all of the biggest hearing aid manufacturers. Some of the latest invisible hearing aids include:
- Widex Unique
- Phonak Virto
- Starkey Picasso
- Oticon Opn
- Unitron Stride
- ReSound LiNX2
This particular style of aids comes with many benefits, but they aren't for everyone. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of invisible hearing aids.
Benefits of invisible hearing aids
They are discreet: Invisible hearing aids could be the right choice if you are concerned about the size of behind-the-ear hearing aids. They will give you the benefits of hearing aids without letting the entire world know that you are wearing them.
Natural sound: The natural sound signals generated from your ear's shape are retained because invisible hearing aids are located deep in the ear canal. There are no wires or tubes to get in the way, and your ear is not "plugged up" to prevent sound from automatically entering your ear. Invisible hearing aids offer a more natural sound level for many people, making it easier to adapt to using hearing aids.
Less occlusion: Sometimes, hearing aid users complain that their voice is too noisy or that sounds have a hollow quality to them when wearing other kinds of hearing aids. This is called occlusion. Invisible hearing aids are much less susceptible to this phenomenon.
Less feedback: Invisible hearing aids do not need as much power or sound output as other hearing aids. This often results in less residual sound energy in the ear, decreasing the probability of experienced feedback.
The potential disadvantages of invisible hearing aids
Less powerful: The small size is discreet, but this also means that the device's receiver is also smaller, which may make the hearing aid less powerful than other styles. This makes the style unsuitable for those with severe or profound hearing loss.
Just one microphone: There is only one single omnidirectional microphone user in invisible hearing aids. This can mean that if you're in an environment with a lot of background noise, invisible hearing aids might not be the best option.
Not all ears fit them: Not all ears are well suited to wearing an invisible hearing aid. To house all of the electronic components inside the device, the ear anatomy needs to be the correct shape and scale.
More maintenance required: This hearing aid model may require more maintenance than other models. They are placed inside the ear canal, making them more vulnerable to damage from a build-up of earwax in the microphone.
Not suitable for the less ambidextrous: For those who have trouble handling smaller devices for whatever reason, it will be tricky to install and remove invisible hearing aids regularly.
Before choosing the hearing aid for you, take into account your lifestyle. A conversation with a hearing professional will help you make the right decision. If you're looking for more advice on the hearing aid that fits your needs, contact us today for a conversation!