Buying the right hearing aid can be difficult, particularly if you are unfamiliar with what makes one model different from 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.
If you are familiar with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, you will 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.
Better ventilation to the ear is probably the largest differentiating factor of the open fit hearing aid. This allows low frequency sounds to enter the ear without additional amplification. 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.
Another major advantage of open fit hearing aids is their small size. 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. 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. Check in with your hearing professional to learn more about this popular and unobtrusive style of hearing aid.