Posted on Friday, February 08, 2013

Hearing Aid Reviews: Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)

A family of three play the piano, thankful for the completely-in-the-canal hearing aid dad uses.

As hearing aid technology has advanced, like most technology, it has tended to get smaller. Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aids or what some manufacturers call Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC) is a popular and ever advancing style of hearing aid, but there are distinct pros and cons for the average user who wants a CIC hearing aid.

There are some important benefits to the smaller hearing aid technology, including the fact that they are less visible and diminish wind and background noise. But do these pros outweigh the cons and are these hearing aids for everyone?

Pros for Completely-in-the-Ear Hearing Aid
• Customized-These styles are specially customized to fit inside of your ear canal and be as comfortable as possible.
• Nearly Invisible-This style of hearing aid is placed fully in the ear canal and is virtually invisible to the human eye.
• Easy Phone Use-Because the hearing aid is placed entirely inside of the user’s ear canal it is easy to use the telephone and wear headphones.
• Less Wind Noise-Another benefit from the small size is completely-in-the-canal hearing instruments are less likely to pick-up any wind noise as the microphone is not vulnerable to weather elements.
• Discreet-The compact size is incredibly discreet and cosmetically pleasing.

There are downsides concerning the completely-in-the-canal hearing aid styles.

Cons for Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aids

• Occlusion-Stuffed or blocked feeling of a hearing aid caused by filling ear canal. This is usually diminished by placing a small hole in the harina aid mold, but this can be a problem with CIC. As Dr. Mark Ross points out in his article, The Occlusion Effect, "Pressure vents are very common in hearing aids, except for smallest completely-in-the canal (CIC) hearing aids. These aids are so chock full of electronics that they have no spare space left to accommodate a vent."
• Dexterity-To use these hearing aids it is necessary for the user to have good manual dexterity.
• Battery-The small size is accompanied with a small battery which does not last as long as the larger hearing aids.
• Not for Everyone-Custom fitted hearing aids are not meant for children and only treat mild to moderate hearing loss.
• Need a Remote- In order to operate features like a directional microphone and Bluetooth technology it is necessary to have a remote in order to adjust settings. Often these remotes are part of a package offered by an audiologist, but they might also be an additional expense.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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