Choosing the hearing aid that is best for you or someone close to you can seem complicated, especially considering the variety of hearing aid options available. Keep reading to find out more about one of the most popular hearing aid styles: open fit hearing aids.
If you’re familiar with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, you’ll immediately notice that open fit hearing aids have numerous similarities. Both devices are made up of a plastic case that rests behind the ear that connects to the ear canal via a tiny tube. Both the case and the tube tend to be smaller than the ones found on behind-the-ear hearing aids.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of open fit hearing aids is that it keeps the ear ventilated. This allows low frequency sounds to enter the ear without additional amplification. This allows many people with mild to moderate hearing loss who are still able to hear low frequency sounds to have a more comfortable and natural experience. It also prevents wearers from hearing their own chewing, coughing, and speaking, reducing distraction and adding further comfort.
The smaller size of the open fit hearing aid is another advantage. 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. 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. Finally, this type of hearing aid uses very small batteries, so users are required to change or charge them on a regular basis.
Open fit hearing aids may have their flaws, but they are still a great choice for many users. Consider your own preferences and talk to your hearing professional to determine if this type of device may be right for you.