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 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 parents wore.
Micro-digital technology has allowed hearing aid manufacturers 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. They then combined it with the receiver, allowing for a single unit fitted into the outer opening of your ear.
IIC style hearing aids result from 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 more severe hearing loss levels.
Additionally, IIC hearing aids have a small, clear post attached to them, designed to assist with insertion and removal.
These small posts require significant dexterity to properly seat the unit in your ear canal, limiting who can use them.
We Have 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.
Our team’s first priority at Cornerstone Audiology is to provide you with the highest level of hearing care to meet your specific needs. Still, 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.