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If you've recently discovered you need hearing aids and are looking into your options, you might be surprised to find out how many styles of hearing aids there really are these days! One you're going to come across very often is called the IIC hearing air, or invisible, in-canal hearing aid. These are a popular option among patients since, as the name suggests, they can't easily be seen. However, they're not exactly for everyone, so you'll want to evaluate the pros and cons before you opt for them.
What are the pros of IIC hearing aids?
IIC hearing aids are about the size of a blueberry. They slide right into your ear canal, and they don't hang out in the visible portion of your ear. Unless someone is right next to you and purposely looks into your ear canal to see whether you're wearing a hearing aid, they won't know you have them. The hearing aid is carefully crafted to match the specific contours of your ear canal so it fits you comfortably without worries of it coming loose or being too tight.
This type of hearing aid utilizes the latest technology to ensure noises sound "natural." This is partly due to their placement in the ear canal rather than outside the ear. This natural sound quality often makes it easier to adapt to IIC hearing aids than to other types. Within a week or two, you're likely to completely forget they're there because you can't feel them, and your hearing will feel natural.
What are the cons of IIC hearing aids?
Because they are so small, IIC hearing aids are not compatible with the latest directional microphone technology. What this means is that you might have a harder time telling whether a sound is coming from behind you, in front of you, or to the side of you than you would with another style of hearing aid.
Their size also means that IIC hearing aids can only accommodate a small battery. So, the battery will need to be replaced every few months. The cost of batteries can add up, so this is something to keep in mind as you're considering hearing aid options. Look into the battery price for the specific model you're considering buying to ensure you can afford frequent replacements.
Some patients whose ear canals are irregularly shaped may not be able to wear IIC hearing aids. Visit your doctor for an evaluation to determine whether these are an option for you.