With new hearing aid technology coming out every year in the hearing aid industry, it’s easy to find yourself without the very best option. Hearing technology and audiology is transforming at a rapid pace. Regular visits to your hearing care professional will help you to know all of your options. One of the newer options in the hearing aid industry is an open fit hearing aid.
An open fit hearing aid fits behind the ear with a small tube inserted into the ear canal. The location of the speaker can be either inside the ear or inside the physical hearing aid.
Open Fit Hearing Aid Compared to Behind the Ear Hearing Aid
This may sound similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid. The concept is similar but with open fit hearing aids you have a lot of improvements. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are one of the largest types of hearing aids. They hook over the top of the ear and connect to an earmold inside of the ear.
A behind the ear hearing aid can bring a lot of wind, background noise, and external sound to the hearing experience. Open fit hearing aids are a lot smaller and less visible. They leave the ear canal open because they only use a small receiver that connects to the main unit with a thin wire.
Transmission of sound and sound quality ratings for open fit hearing aids are excellent for people with mild hearing loss.
Benefits of Open Fit Hearing Aids
With open-fit hearing aids the ear canal is left open allowing low-frequency sound to travel with clarity. With other hearing aids that block the canal, the hearing-aid user can sometimes feel like their own voice is muffled due to the internal noise.
An additional advantage is that they are overall smaller than closed-fit hearing aids and this makes the wearer less likely to experience a build up of ear wax. It’s a common issue for a hearing-aid user to have problems with earwax because the outer ear is somewhat blocked.
These hearing aids are also not as noticeable as bigger closed-fit hearing aids. Some people don’t want their hearing aid to be the first thing someone sees when they meet them. The cosmetic appeal makes them a great option for people who may be more sensitive.
With open-fit hearing aids, you experience minimal occlusion. With active occlusion reduction, you no longer get loud speech or loud internal noise (chewing, swallowing, walking, etc.) The minimal occlusion is due to the ear canal being left open for the transmission of sound.
How Open Fit Hearing Aids Work
Open fit hearing aids work in the same way other hearing devices do. The hearing aid picks up sounds through the receiver that is located either in the ear or the hearing aid. The sound travels through an amplifier and then is sent through a speaker.
New technology has made the process with open fit hearing aids work with a clear clean sound some hearing aid wearers haven’t experienced.
Who Are Open Fit Hearing Aids For?
Open-fit hearing aids are usually chosen for people with mild to moderate hearing loss levels. Someone with profound hearing loss or high-frequency hearing loss needs a high level of amplification. In these severe cases, open fit hearing aids may be prone to feedback noise.
A hearing care specialist will be able to do tests for gain before feedback to see if these are a good fit for you. People with severe hearing loss need a stable gain and maximum gain so that they aren’t experiencing that feedback. For this reason, they may not be an option for people with severe hearing loss.
A hearing-aid user who suffers from a buildup of earwax should ask their hearing specialist about open fit hearing aids.
Some older hearing aid users may find the small size of the open fit hearing aids hard to manage and operate. If fine motor movements are challenging, then this listening device may not be right for you.
These hearing aids are a great choice for people who are looking for a small less noticeable ear device.
How The Right Hearing Aid Can Change Your Life
Some of the most common feedback from someone who just got the perfect hearing aids is that they have more energy. The listening effort involved in social situations when you are having a hard time hearing is incredibly exhausting. Multi-tasking is also difficult when you don’t have a clear hearing experience.
When your hearing experience changes, so does the rest of your life. When you have more energy to be yourself relationships are easier. The right hearing aid will give the user increased confidence and decreased anxiety.
Hearing aids also improve a person’s speech quality. You may not notice how your hearing is affecting your speech as the change happens slowly over time. The right hearing aids can show a great improvement in speech.
Visit a Hearing Health Professional
People with hearing loss may think they know exactly what they like but without trying out the array of options they aren’t making an educated decision.
The perfect hearing aid for you depends on a lot of factors:
- hearing level
- physical capabilities
- preference for hearing aid appearance
- audio quality in different situations (music listening, own-voice perception, noise testing, etc.)
A hearing care specialist will get to know you and your lifestyle and run through all of your options with you. Hearing aid fittings and hearing tests make sure you are getting the perfect choice of hearing aid styles. They will take real-ear measurements and test you with a natural listening experience.
Hearing professionals will also continuously test your range of hearing so you are aware of any changes to your hearing and frequency range. Regular visits for a hearing assessment are a crucial part of hearing health care.
At Southwestern Hearing Centers we take the time to make sure our patients feel comfortable and confident with their assistive hearing devices. We take care of any necessary adjustments to maximize your hearing experience. We help you find affordable hearing aids with financing options if you need them.
Call and set up an appointment to explore all of your hearing options and get your hearing evaluation. The right hearing aid will transform your life and give you more space to be yourself.