Choosing the right hearing aid can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with what makes one model different than the next. Read on to learn more about open fit hearing aids, a design that is rapidly growing in popularity among those with hearing loss.
Open fit hearing aids share many similarities with behind-the-ear devices. This type of hearing aid consists of a plastic case that rests behind the ear and a small tube that connects the case to the ear canal. However, the case and the tube on the open fit hearing aids are substantially smaller than on behind-the-ear hearing aids.One of the distinguishing characteristics of open fit hearing aids is that it keeps the ear ventilated. The open fit design allows low frequency sounds 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.
The smaller size of the open fit hearing aid is another advantage. 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.
Individuals with severe hearing loss are not good candidates for the open fit hearing aids. At high levels of amplification (required for individuals with severe hearing losses) the open fit devices often suffer from feedback noise. The hearing aid’s small size can also work against it, as people who do not have fine motor skills often find it difficult to operate such a small device. Additionally, this small hearing aid type requires very small batteries that will need to be changed or charged regularly.
Although there may be some disadvantages to the open fit hearing aid, they are the perfect choice for many hearing aid wearers. Consider your own preferences and talk to your hearing professional to determine if this type of device may be right for you.