When it comes to advancements in hearing technology, few innovations are as small but mighty as the invisible-in-the-canal hearing aid.

Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids and other invisible technologies tuck neatly into the ear canal, becoming virtually undetectable to anyone who isn’t expressly looking for them. Aside from their cosmetic appeal, this “invisible” quality goes a long way toward making the hearing aid comfortable and less disruptive to an individual’s life.

In this article, you can learn more about invisible hearing aids, including how they differ from traditional hearing aids and how they are fitted in the ear.

What is an Invisible Hearing Device?

An invisible hearing device, also known as an IIC hearing aid, is a small and discreet hearing aid that sits inside the ear canal.  As a result, it is all but invisible to the naked eye. Like traditional hearing aids, these invisible devices are made up of a microphone, a receiver, an amplifier, a sound processor, and a battery. But unlike a behind-the-ear (BTE) or receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid, all of these components fit inside the ear instead of outside. Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids are worn snugly in the ear canal and removed using a compact pull string.

For those who don’t want an IIC device, or if their ear anatomy won’t accommodate it, there are also completely–in–the–canal (CIC) hearing aids. CICs are very similar to IICs but generally do not sit as deeply within the canal. Some CIC models have a rechargeable option. A model, or impression, of the ear canal, is done in the office and shipped to the factory for customization of both the IIC and CIC hearing aids. An instant-fit CIC is also a possibility, depending on ear anatomy.

A subset of invisible technology, known as the Lyric hearing aid, is worn 24/7 and purchased as a subscription.  This extended-wear treatment plan is unique and deserves its own blog space, so stay tuned.

Benefits of Invisible Hearing Aids

There are a number of reasons why someone may opt for IIC hearing aids. Benefits of this type of technology include:

  • Discreet wear
  • Reduced wind noise interference
  • Good sound quality since the device components are located so close to the eardrum
  • Increased comfort for those who regularly wear things in or around the ears, like eyeglasses, headphones, or hats

Getting Fitted with Invisible-In-The-Canal Hearing Aids

In order to enjoy all of the benefits of IIC hearing aids, you need to make sure they’re fitted properly.  When patients come to an office like ours for an initial fitting appointment, they can expect to spend about an hour having their hearing aids fitted – a process that includes modifying placement as needed for comfort and testing to ensure optimal output of sound. This latter part of the hearing aid fitting process is known as real ear measurement, also commonly known as probe microphone measurement. It involves the use of specialized equipment to determine just how well sound is traveling down the ear canal and is being received.

Interested in Getting an Invisible Hearing Aid?

If you like the appeal of an IIC device, it’s worth finding out whether it would be a good fit for you.  A hearing care professional will be able to make a recommendation based on your specific needs and preferences and can also provide you with a more thorough overview of the fitting process.

In addition to seeking out the technology that will be the best for you, you can further cultivate good hearing practices by getting regularly scheduled hearing evaluations and prioritizing your hearing health. If you ever have any questions about your hearing and/or hearing device technology, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance.

Hearing help and guidance is always available.  Contact the team at Affiliated Audiology Consultants, Inc. in Phoenix to learn more about IIC hearing aids and other hearing technologies, or use the HearingLoss.com certified provider directory to find a local provider in your area.

About the author.
Georgine Ray, AuD, Owner of Affiliated Audiology Consultants, Inc.

Affiliated Audiology Consultants, Inc – Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Ray received her doctoral degree (AuD) from the University of Florida and her BS and MS degrees from Arizona State University. She is a fellow and life member of the American Academy of Audiology, where she has served on their Board of Directors. She was a member of the inaugural Board of Governors for the American Board of Audiology. She is also a member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and the American Auditory Society.  Dr. Ray is a past president of her state’s speech and hearing association. Before establishing Affiliated Audiology Consultants, Inc., Dr. Ray garnered extensive experience across diverse settings, including hospitals, ENT clinics, and field clinics for Indian Health Services. Her passion lies in enhancing the quality of life for her patients, irrespective of age, by rekindling the sounds that shape their world.  Dr. Ray’s practice is HearingLoss.com certified, further showcasing her expertise and commitment to excellence in the field of hearing care. Learn more about Dr. Ray and Affiliated Audiology Consultants.

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