Buying the right hearing aid can be challenging, particularly if you are unfamiliar with what makes one model different from the next. This article will introduce you to open fit hearing aids – a relatively new innovation that is growing in popularity.
If you are already acquainted with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, you’ll immediately notice 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. 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. 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. 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. They are a favorite among hearing aid wearers that want to conceal or disguise their device.
There are some disadvantages to open fit hearing aids, especially for users with severe hearing issues. The levels of amplification needed for users with major hearing loss often lead to feedback noise due to the device’s openness. Individuals with poor dexterity or fine motor skills may find it difficult to operate these small devices. 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.