The next in our series on hearing aids looks at those that are fitted in the ear or in the ear canal. To read earlier blogs in this series click here.
These are known as ITE (in the ear) and ITC (In the Canal) hearing aids. In the ear hearing aids are custom made especially for your individual ear. The final size of the hearing device depends on the shape of your ear and whether there is enough room to fit all the electronics into it. For example, if you have a tiny ear canal there may not be enough room to fit everything into a tiny hearing aid, so it’s important to have realistic expectations about what is possible for your ears.
- They are neat and convenient therefore they are popular. You have one piece that just ‘pops in the ear’, with no extra bits that go over the ear providing ease of handling and no interference with spectacles.
- If your ears are the right shape, it may be possible to sit the hearing aid ‘completely in the canal’, so it’s almost completely hidden.
- Occasionally they can make people feel blocked, like having your fingers stuck in your ears. They may find their own voice sounds like in a barrel.
- The hearing aids electronics are housed inside your ear which is not the friendliest of environments for advanced electronics as the temperature is 37°C, it’s moist and often full of wax. Therefore they may be more prone to needing regular servicing. The microphone is prone to picking up bits of dead skin – so regular maintenance is a must.
- If your ear changes shape over time (e.g. you lose or gain a lot of weight) the hearing aid may need to be reshaped for your ear so it fits properly. It’s very rare that this is necessary but will incur extra cost
All information is provided in the interests of Hearing Health education and is of a general nature. In all cases you should consult your doctor or other allied health professional for advice regarding your individual circumstances.