What are those little hearing aids I keep seeing advertised on the tv?

Apr 4, 2022Hearing Aids

You may have noticed quite a few ads on TV recently from one or two of the larger audiology companies in Australia. These ads show a small hearing aid called a CIC or Completely in Canal hearing aid.

As its name suggests this hearing aid is designed to fit entirely in the ear canal, and not be visible from the outside. CIC hearing aids are available from all hearing aid manufacturers and thus can be purchased from practically any audiologist working with hearing devices. So yes you can get a CIC hearing aid from Knox Audiology!

CIC’s are great if you are looking for a hearing device that is practically invisible. They are custom made to your ear and will sit comfortably in your ear canal. However, it is important to note that CIC hearing aids aren’t for everyone, and may not be the best option or most suitable hearing aid for you. To begin with, due to their size, CIC hearing aids are limited in the technology that can go inside them. As a result these devices do not come in a rechargeable option and you do need to change the batteries as often as once a week. On that note, due to their small size, the batteries in CIC hearing aids are also small. Therefore if you have any dexterity issues or arthritis, these hearing aids may not be the most practical option for you.

Your hearing itself can also impact on how you will react to CIC hearing aids. For example, in a typical age related hearing loss or even in noise induced hearing loss the lower pitched sounds are generally better than the higher pitched sounds. This means you can will hear sounds like “m” “n” and vowel sounds, better than you will hear “s”, “f”, “th” ect. Often with these types of hearing loss, we want to make sure that you can still hear the lower pitched sounds naturally using your natural hearing, and this means we need to avoid blocking up your ear canal.

Unfortunately, with CIC hearing aids they will block up your ear canal. This can cause something called the occlusion effect, which means when you wear the hearing aids, sound becomes much louder and seems as though it is giving an echo in your head. A good example is when you block your ears with your fingers and talk, it sounds as if your voice is very loud in your head. This is often what happens when people with good hearing in the lower pitched sounds opt for these type of hearing aids.

However, it is always important that you have a consultation with your audiologist prior to deciding on any hearing devices. Your audiologist will be able to help you select what is best for you and for your hearing. Call us today to book in a hearing aid discussing with one of our friendly audiologists!

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