Choosing the hearing aid that’s right for you or your loved one can be overwhelming, especially with the variety of hearing aid options available. The next few paragraphs will describe more about one particularly popular type of hearing aid: 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. 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. 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. Further comfort is added by the fact that listeners do not end up hearing their own speaking, coughing, chewing, or other distracting noises.
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.
Individuals with severe hearing loss are not good candidates for the open fit hearing aids. 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.