Cosmetic concern is an obstacle that prevents people from embracing hearing aids. In the past, models that went inside the ear canal were the only option to hide a hearing aid. Things have changed. People can now wear a hearing aid that is hidden behind the ear. Often our patients are reluctant to compromise on this; however, once they try one of the new tiny behind the ear hearing aids, they like both the appearance and sound quality. Patient DD was one of those people.
I evaluated her in our Inverness office at the request of a local Ear, Nose, and Throat physician. My exam revealed a moderate hearing loss in the left ear and severe hearing loss in the right ear. DD told me she has significant difficulty in noisy situations, but is extremely concerned about the cosmetics of the behind the ear hearing aids even though she would hear better with that style.
Upon my recommendation, she compromised and I fit her with Starkey Ignite 30 Receiver-In-the-Canal (RIC) behind the ear hearing aids. My follow up call one day post fitting revealed she was very pleased with how she was hearing, but even more surprised by how she hardly noticed anything behind her ear. At her first follow up appointment, a small modification to the fit was made for comfort; otherwise she still felt she was doing well.
DD came in for her final follow-up two weeks later and purchased her hearing aids. She felt she was hearing everything she wanted to and was happy with the cosmetics and that “no one knew she had hearing aids”.