Out of sight, out of mind? Many people worry about their hearing aids looking conspicuous, or interfering with their glasses or masks. Invisible hearing aids can help. These types of hearing devices sit inside your ear and are nearly undetectable. Better yet, with Oticon’s advanced technology, even the smallest size packs a big punch. Are invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids right for you?
What is an invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid?
Technology has come a long way since the days of bulky hearing aids. Many people were turned off by the idea of hearing aids because of their size or discomfort. However, those days are over, as today’s technology allows hearing devices to get smaller and smaller. Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids are just about, well, invisible.
They are the smallest custom hearing aids available and are designed and molded to fit perfectly inside your ear canal – making them nearly undetectable to everyone around you, aside from a small wire to help you easily insert and remove them.
IICs consist of three basic parts:
- A microphone, to pick up all the sounds you need to hear.
- An amplifier, which increases the volume of those sounds.
- A speaker, which delivers the sounds to your ears.
What are the advantages of IIC hearing aids?
Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids are beneficial for those with mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss and are a truly invisible hearing device. The greatest advantage of IIC hearing aids for most people is their small size and discreet appearance. Because they sit so deep in the ear canal, IICs are difficult to spot, and allow the hearing aid to work with the ear to offer a more natural sound experience.
This position inside the ear canal also provides the following benefits:
- Less likely to pick up wind noises when outside.
- Better ease of use with telephones and headsets.
- Reduction of “occlusion effect,” which is that vibration or booming sound of your own voice or chewing you sometimes hear in your own head when wearing hearing aids.
- Specialized and custom fit to your ear canal.
- Sit comfortably and securely in the ear.
- No external tubes or wires to catch on clothing, masks, hats, or glasses.
IICs aren’t for everyone, however, and you should always consult with your hearing care provider before making a final decision.
What are the disadvantages of IIC hearing aids?
Although invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids have a host of advantages, it’s important to look at some of their potential issues as well. IICs:
- Are not suited for those with severe hearing loss.
- Can be more challenging to handle if you have dexterity issues.
- May be more vulnerable to earwax and moisture buildup.
Don’t let these possible disadvantages turn you away from IIC hearing devices, however. Your hearing care provider is the only one who knows what type of device is right for you and can perform the right tests to find out.
If you think you have hearing loss, take our free online hearing test to see if you should get help.