Many people are reluctant to wear a hearing aid that everyone can see. That’s understandable. Your health is private and you don’t necessarily want the world to know that you have hearing loss.
That’s why invisible hearing aids are so popular. They sit inside your ear canal where no-one can see them meaning you can improve your hearing and maintain your privacy.
So, how do they work? And who are they made for?
How do IIC hearing aids work?
Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids sit deep inside your ear canal. That deep placement gives you excellent sound quality and wonderful discretion. The result is clear hearing with nobody knowing that you’re wearing a hearing aid unless you choose to tell them. (The only part that may be visible is a thin wire that you use to pull the hearing aid out.)
If you choose to have an IIC hearing aid, it will be custom made to suit your ear canal. These are not one-size-fits-all devices. They’re tailored to suit each individual client.
What’s the difference between the new IIC style and the older CIC style?
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are very similar to the IIC style but sit at the entrance to your ear canal rather than deep inside it. They go unnoticed by most people – but a close observer could see them. From the outside, they look a bit like a very small ear plug. They’re also custom made from a mould of your ear canal so they give a perfect fit.
Why do people love IIC hearing aids?
Choosing a hearing aid is quite a personal decision. It depends on your hearing needs, lifestyle and personal preferences.
Like any device, there are pros and cons to IIC hearing aids. Here are a few.
- Custom made for comfort and secure fit
- Very small
- Can’t be seen by anyone
- Having the microphone in your ear canal makes it easier to talk on the phone and to localise sound.
- Because they’re smaller, they’re less powerful
- Require more maintenance
- Vulnerable to wax affecting the microphone because this is within your ear canal
- More likely to be affected by sweat or moisture due to limited ventilation
- Feedback more likely (whistling noises)
- Sometimes become dislodged when you talk and chew
- Not as good at filtering out background noise
Who can have an IIC hearing aid?
Your audiologist will help you select a hearing aid that is right for you. It needs to be appropriate for your type of hearing loss, suit your lifestyle and be manageable for you.
An IIC hearing aid may suit you if you have:
- Mild to moderate hearing loss
- Good vision
- Good dexterity in your fingers (so you can manage a tiny device)
- An active lifestyle and a preference for a very discreet hearing aid.
An IIC hearing aid may not be appropriate for you if:
- You have severe hearing loss – IIC devices do not have the same power as larger devices
- The shape or size of your ear anatomy makes it hard to fit the device properly
- You have poor vision
- You have difficulty with fine motor skills, such as having arthritis in your fingers.
How much do IIC hearing aids cost?
The cost varies a little depending on the brand but they are likely to start from $2700 per pair, for a private purchase (without government pensioner subsidies).
The best way to determine what you should pay for a hearing aid is to come into Active Audiology and talk to one of our audiologists. We spend a considerable amount of time determining what sort of lifestyle factors would influence the right hearing aid choice for you. We go through each brand in detail and explain what the differences are.
How can Active Audiology help?
As an independent audiology clinic, we’re here to give you excellent care rather than to sell you a certain brand of device. Our audiologists are highly educated and experienced and will take you through a series of comprehensive tests to diagnose any hearing loss you may have.
Once that’s done, we’ll explore treatment options and recommend any hearing aids that would suit your hearing needs, lifestyle and budget.
Our goal is to help you enjoy your life to the full, hearing the sounds that matter to you and enjoying easy communication which deepens relationships with those you love.
All information is general in nature.