Finding the hearing aid that is right for you or someone close to you can seem intimidating, especially with the variety of hearing aid options available. The next few paragraphs will describe more about one kind of hearing aid that is becoming increasingly popular: open fit hearing aids.
Open fit hearing aids share many similarities with behind-the-ear devices. The visible similarities include the plastic case that rests behind the ear and the small tube that connects 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. 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. For the wearer, this means that distracting sounds such as your own chewing or coughing are not amplified resulting in greater comfort and satisfaction.
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.
Open fit hearing aids do have downsides, particularly for users who have deep hearing loss. Its open construction means that the amplification levels required to meet the needs of severely impaired hearing often result in 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. Because of its small size, this device uses very small batteries, potentially making regular changes or recharges necessary.
Despite its flaws, the open fit hearing aid is 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.