Musicians Need to Protect Their Hearing!! By: Lisa D. Cahill, Ph.D., CCC-A
Invisible Hearing Aids
Getting used to wearing hearing aids can be hard enough without the added cosmetic factor. Some people feel self conscious that others will be able to see that they are hearing impaired. Thankfully, because of modern technology and design, there are several “invisible” hearing aid options. Invisible hearing aids is a broad term used to describe a few types of hearing aids that are nearly invisible to others once in place. There are three main types of invisible hearing aids, which means there are discreet hearing aid options for nearly every person with hearing loss.
In Canal (IEC) Hearing Aids
In ear canal (IEC) hearing aids sit mostly inside the ear canal. They work well with many types of hearing loss. The great thing about this type of hearing aid is that most IEC are specifically designed for new hearing aid users. However, they are a favorite among many people with hearing loss. IEC are very discreet. Most people will not even notice that someone is wearing an IEC hearing aid.
Completely in Canal (CEC) Hearing Aids
Completely in Canal (CEC) hearing aids are small enough to sit completely inside the ear canal, and are virtually undetectable once in place. CEC need to be custom fitted to the user’s ear canal and are adjusted to their unique needs. Most CEC come in with digital technology and with programmable capabilities, making them very adaptable to a variety of environments.
Mini RIC (receiver in canal) or Mini BTE
Some people prefer not to have hearing aids that fit inside the ear canal. Others cannot use IEC or CEC hearing aids because of discomfort, ear wax buildup, or other issues. For these users, the Mini RIC (Receiver in Canal) or Mini BTE (Behind the Ear) may be the right choice for a discreet hearing aid. Mini BTE still have as much performance and power as other types of hearing aids, and they are known for being extremely comfortable because of their placement. This type of hearing aid consists of a small case that sits behind the ear.
A small, nearly invisible tube connects the case to the ear canal, where the receiver sits inside the ear canal. As you can see, there are many options for invisible hearing aids available. About 98% of people who suffer from hearing loss can choose a discreet hearing aid option. They are most popular with teens and young adults with hearing loss. All types of invisible hearing aids are available with programmable technology that will allow your hearing aids to adjust to your surroundings and the type of listening environment you are in. Most invisible hearing aids also come in both analog or digital technology formats.
The type of invisible hearing aid that is right for you will depend on your type of hearing loss and your unique lifestyle and needs. Your audiologist is the best person to discuss your hearing aid options with. He will also be able to answer your questions about individual brands and pricing.