Hearing loss places a damper on an otherwise active and independent lifestyle by adding to the risk of developing mental and physical health problems and complicating relationships among friends, family, and at work.

Better communication and better overall health are among the benefits of hearing aids, but many avoid them due to the stigma associated with hearing aids.

Though hearing aids have changed significantly in the last couple of decades, many who can benefit from hearing aids place discretion high on their list of priorities.

Many of our South Plains patients value discretion when it comes to the hearing instrument they choose, which gives rise to an important question, “Are invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids right for you?”

Today’s Advanced Hearing Technology

Before determining whether IIC hearing aids are right for you, consider that modern hearing aids are nothing like the bulky, clunky devices your grandparents, or your parents, wore.

Micro-digital technology has allowed hearing aid manufacturers to produce smaller and lighter-weight devices. In contrast, material design innovations have enhanced their capabilities to match your skin tone, making them more discreet.

These advanced capabilities bring new meaning to what most people consider “invisible” or “unnoticeable.”

Innovations by hearing aid manufacturers make behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RIE), and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids go unnoticed more often than they did just ten years ago.

At the same time, the stigma of wearing hearing aids is rapidly disappearing. Advanced technologies have contributed greatly to both the size and performance capacity of invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) style hearing aids.

More About IIC Style Hearing Aids

Downsizing receiver-in-the-ear (RIE), in-the-ear (ITE), and in-the-canal (ITC) style hearing aids have led to the development of IIC hearing aids. RIE hearing aids use a small housing for all the electronics except for the receiver, which is custom-fitted to rest inside your ear canal.

ITE and ITC style hearing aids reduced the electronics housing further and then combined it with the receiver, allowing for a single unit fitted into the outer opening of your ear.

IIC style hearing aids are the result of a further reduction of the housing and receiver of ITE and ITC style hearing aids, making it possible to place all the necessary technology in a small device, custom-formed to the contour of your ear canal.

Because of their deeper placement, IIC canals are the most discreet hearing aids available, going unnoticed unless you point them out to someone.

Limitations of IIC Style Hearing Aids

You might wonder why other hearing aid styles still exist if someone can choose an IIC unit. IIC hearing aids have some limitations.

The most important limitation has to do with the severity level of your hearing loss.

To date, only individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. Due to their compact size, IIC hearing aids do not house sufficient technology to provide an adequate solution to those with more severe levels of hearing loss.

Additionally, IIC hearing aids have a small, clear post attached to them, designed to assist with insertion and removal.

These small posts require a significant amount of dexterity to properly seat the unit in your ear canal, which also limits who can use them.

Cornerstone Audiology Has IIC Style Hearing Aids Available for Those Who Qualify

Today’s hearing aids are already smaller, lighter, and less noticeable than they were a decade ago, which is good news for discretion concerns.

The first priority of our team at Cornerstone Audiology is to provide you with the highest level of hearing care to meet your specific needs, but we’re happy to accommodate our patients with mild to moderate hearing loss with IIC hearing aids at their request.

Contact us to schedule an in-office or tele-audiology appointment if you believe IIC hearing aids are right for you or your loved one, or to explore the various options we have available.

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Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.