With recent advances in technology we frequently have patients who ask about Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aids. An IIC Hearing Aid is a custom-made piece that sits deep in the canal.
Let’s cover some frequently asked questions…
Am I a candidate for IIC Hearing Aids?
IIC hearing aids are appropriate for patients who are concerned about the cosmetic appearance of hearing aids and who have a mild to moderate hearing loss. IICs are not appropriate for someone who has a severe hearing loss due to the small size and limited power. They also tend to work best for specific types of hearing losses.
Are IIC Hearing Aids more expensive?
While there can be some cost differences depending on your insurance benefits or the technology level you are interested in, IIC hearing aids are generally the same price as traditional hearing aids but are less flexible if your hearing deteriorates
What are the benefits of an IIC Hearing Aid?
IIC hearing aids can be a great option for someone who will not wear an over the ear style due to cosmetic concerns. They are invisible to most people and sit in the shadow of the ear.
IICs can also be great to use while talking on the phone since the user can hold the phone in a natural position. IICs also tend to perform well in windy environments due to the position in the ear.
Are there any downsides to IIC Hearing Aids?
Yes. The main downside to IIC Hearing aid is susceptibility to damage, lack of reserve power if hearing deteriorates. While the electronics in hearing aids are generally moisture resistant, sweat, oil and wax from the ear canal can accumulate and cause issues. Damage usually means the aid will need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Repairs are not a major issue when the device is under warranty but may leave the patient without the hearing aid for some time.
IIC hearing aids can reduce sound quality since the ear is being plugged by the instrument. Some patients note sounding like they are ‘in a barrel’ when listening to their own voices. IICs also have a short battery life. IICs are not currently rechargeable and batteries only last a few days due to the small size required. Lastly, IICs cannot be made for every ear canal. Very narrow, short, or curved canals may not leave enough space for all necessary electronics.
To schedule your free consultation with a Doctor of Audiology please contact Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .