Choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you or your loved one can seem intimidating, especially considering the wide range of hearing aid models available.This article will offer a brief introduction to open fit hearing aids – a relatively new innovation that is becoming more popular.
Open fit hearing aids share many similarities with behind-the-ear devices. Both devices are made up of a plastic case that rests behind the ear that connects to the ear canal via a tiny tube. However, open fit hearing aids are considerably smaller than their behind-the-ear counterparts.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of open fit hearing aids is that it keeps the ear ventilated. Low frequency sounds are able to enter the ear without being amplified. This offers a more comfortable and natural experience to those with mild to moderate hearing loss that are able to hear low frequency sounds without amplification. For the wearer, this means that distracting sounds such as your own chewing or coughing are not amplified resulting in greater comfort and satisfaction.
Another major advantage of open fit hearing aids is their small size. Many users are able to disguise these devices, making them a favorite among listeners who are self-conscious about having to use a hearing aid.
There are some disadvantages to open fit hearing aids, especially for users with severe hearing issues. The levels of amplification needed for users with major hearing loss often lead to feedback noise due to the device’s openness. People who have difficulty with fine motor skills may also find it difficult to operate such a small object. Finally, this type of hearing aid uses very small batteries, so users are required to change or charge them on a regular basis.
Despite its flaws, the open fit hearing aid is a great choice for many users. Consult with your hearing professional to determine if the open fit type of hearing aid may be the best for your unique hearing needs and lifestyle.