Choosing the appropriate hearing aid can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the features that make one model different from another. Read on to learn more about open fit hearing aids, a design that has been rapidly becoming more popular among seniors.
There are many similarities between open fit hearing aids and behind-the-ear devices. 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. However, the case and the tube on the open fit hearing aids are substantially smaller than on behind-the-ear hearing aids. The factor that differentiates open fit hearing aids from the rest is that their design allows the ear to stay ventilated. The open fit design allows low frequency sounds to enter the ear without being amplified. Because many people with mild to moderate hearing loss have no trouble hearing low frequency sounds, this lack of amplification leads to a more comfortable and natural experience. Further comfort is added by the fact that listeners do not end up hearing their own speaking, coughing, chewing, or other distracting noises.
Another major advantage of open fit hearing aids is their small size. 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.
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. The hearing aid’s small size can also work against it, as people who do not have fine motor skills often find it difficult to operate such a small device. 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. Consider your own preferences and talk to your hearing professional to determine if this type of device may be right for you.