Choosing the hearing aid that is best for you or someone close to you can be intimidating, especially with the variety of hearing aid options available. Keep reading to find out more about one kind of hearing aid that is becoming increasingly popular: open fit hearing aids.
If you are already familiar with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, you’ll find that open fit hearing aids have many similarities. 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. Both the case and the tube tend to be smaller than the ones found on behind-the-ear hearing aids.
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 allows many people with mild to moderate hearing loss who are still able to hear low frequency sounds to have a more comfortable and natural experience. For the wearer, this means that distracting sounds such as your own chewing or coughing are not amplified resulting in greater comfort and satisfaction.
Open fit hearing aids are smaller than many other devices, which for many is another advantage. Unlike other types of hearing aids, this style is small enough to easily disguise, making them a great choice for users who may be self-conscious about needing a hearing aid.
Open fit hearing aids do have downsides, particularly for users who have deep hearing loss. At high levels of amplification (required for individuals with severe hearing losses) the open fit devices often suffer from feedback noise. People who have difficulty with fine motor skills may also find it difficult to operate such a small object. Because of its small size, this device uses very small batteries, potentially making regular changes or recharges necessary.
Although there may be some disadvantages to the open fit hearing aid, they are the perfect choice for many hearing aid wearers. Check in with your hearing professional to learn more about this popular and unobtrusive style of hearing aid.