Millions of Americans have now been diagnosed with hearing loss and hearing aids are helping many of them manage that hearing loss while continuing to live life to the fullest. The hearing aid industry has answered the growing demand over recent years with ever more sophisticated and versatile choices that make hearing with a hearing aid easier and more natural than ever.
There are many different styles to choose from including:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids
- “Mini” BTE (or “on-the-ear”) aids
- In-the-ear (ITE) aids
- In-the-canal (ITC) aids
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids
- Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) aids
The choice really comes down to which hearing device will best fit an individual’s needs and lifestyle, but these days the smaller a hearing aid is, the more in demand it seems to be.
The Demand For Smaller Hearing Aids
There are many reasons why an individual may lean towards a smaller hearing aid (CIC and IIC) after discussing recommendations and options with their hearing healthcare provider.
In many cases, it is a question of how visible the device is to others. Even with so many people of all ages now diagnosed with hearing loss, there is still a common misconception that the devices are only for those of a certain age. In other cases, it’s the assumption that as technology improves it also shrinks. This is certainly not the case with hearing aids which, regardless of size, offer an impressive array of features and functionality these days.
What You Should Know Before Buying
If you’re weighing your options after a hearing loss diagnosis, there are several things to take into consideration before investing in a hearing aid simply based on how small it is. Be sure to work with your hearing healthcare provider to determine the best choices for your needs and discuss each of these with your provider:
- Level of hearing loss matters – The type and extent of hearing loss your provider determined during your hearing evaluation helps to determine hearing aid needs. In cases where the loss is greater, you may need the added power from a larger hearing aid to stay tuned in without the frustration of missed conversations and more.
- Care considerations – While smaller hearing aids can be a great choice for many people with hearing loss, they will require additional battery changes. Research has shown that some of the larger hearing aids can run anywhere from 110-135 hours on a battery, while smaller devices may require replacements every 61-98 hours.
- Size and features go hand-in-hand – Smaller hearing aids come with a variety of features and can even offer a more natural sound experience for the wearer as well as easier connections with other technology such as telephones. With that said, there are some features that may not be available in such a compact hearing aid.
Whichever hearing aids you’re considering, discuss your needs and lifestyle with your hearing healthcare provider. While smaller hearing aids may be all the rage right now, they may not be the best fit for every ear or individual. If you’re looking for guidance on how to make the best choice of hearing aids, please call our office to discuss options.