Choosing the hearing aid that is best for you or someone close to you can seem overwhelming, especially with the wide range of hearing aid choices available.This article will introduce you to open fit hearing aids – a relatively new type that is increasing in popularity.
Open fit hearing aids have many similarities with behind-the-ear devices. The visible similarities include the plastic case that rests behind the ear and the small tube that connects to the ear canal. However, open fit hearing aids are considerably smaller than their behind-the-ear counterparts.
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 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. It also prevents wearers from hearing their own chewing, coughing, and speaking, reducing distraction and adding further comfort.
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.
There are some disadvantages to open fit hearing aids, especially for users with severe hearing issues. Its open construction means that the amplification levels required to meet the needs of severely impaired hearing often result in feedback noise. Individuals with poor dexterity or fine motor skills may find it difficult to operate these small devices. Additionally, this small hearing aid type requires very small batteries that will need to be changed or charged regularly.
Despite its flaws, the open fit hearing aid is a great choice for many users. Consult with your hearing professional to determine if the open fit type of hearing aid may be the best for your unique hearing needs and lifestyle.