Finding the hearing aid that’s right for you or your loved one can be overwhelming, especially considering the variety of hearing aid choices available. The next few paragraphs will describe more about one of the most popular hearing aid styles: open fit hearing aids.
Open fit hearing aids share many similarities with 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, open fit hearing aids are considerably smaller than their behind-the-ear counterparts.
Better ventilation to the ear is probably the largest differentiating factor of the open fit hearing aid. 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.
Another major advantage of open fit hearing aids is their small size. Many users are able to disguise these devices, making them a favorite among listeners who are self-conscious about having to use a hearing aid.
Open fit hearing aids do have downsides, particularly for users who have deep hearing loss. 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. Additionally, this small hearing aid type requires very small batteries that will need to be changed or charged regularly.
Open fit hearing aids may have their flaws, but they are still a great choice for many users. Consult with your hearing professional to determine if the open fit type of hearing aid may be the best for your unique hearing needs and lifestyle.