A recent study found that 40% of people would be more likely to wear a hearing aid if it were completely invisible to others, and so with this in mind Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids have been developed.
They are very similar to Completely In the Canal (CIC) hearing aids except that they are slightly smaller and are worn slightly further down into the ear canal. This means that they are completely invisible even if someone were to look directly into your ear.
Inevitably with this reduction in size, there are some compromises on battery life (due to the smaller sized batteries) and the number and power levels of the technological features that can be included. However, if you only suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss and discretion is a priority for you then an Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid could be exactly the style of hearing aid that you have been looking for.
Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids have numerous different advantages and disadvantages. Our information below details some of the most common of these, however for more details please contact our expert team today and we’ll happily talk you through all of your options and book your free hearing test too.
The main reason that you would choose an Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid is that it is completely invisible to others. The only visible part is a small wire (that itself is usually incredibly difficult for others to see) that attaches to the aid which then protrudes just outside of the ear canal which you hold on to insert and remove the aid.
Obviously, due to their position completely within the ear canal, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can not include any on-aid controls. Therefore any adjustments need to be made via a dedicated external device. Unfortunately, as they are inside your ear they cannot connect to a smartphone app, however many of the controls are very discreet and can be small enough to fit onto your keyring.
As Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are made to a custom mould of your ear canal, and because their exact location within the canal means that they rest against a slight bony protrusion, they are incredibly comfortable to wear. They will not move around inside your ear and many people report that they are completely unable to feel them at all.
Another advantage of Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sitting so deeply within your ear is that you are still able to naturally detect which direction sounds are coming from. This is because it is still your outer ear that is funnelling sounds down into your ear canal.
Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids produce a very natural sound profile as most of your ear is still free to conduct its natural function. The hearing aid simply acts to receive sounds as they naturally enter the ear canal and then amplifies them out towards the eardrum. This allows for the sounds to keep the most natural profile possible.
Issues of wind noise distraction are completely eliminated with Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids, as a result of their position within the ear canal.
Because Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sit completely within the ear canal they do not get in the way of your wearing helmets, headphones or any other type of headgear and you are also able to use your telephone completely naturally. This makes them much more suitable for people with active lifestyles, or who find change challenging.
Because they are small enough to fit completely within your ear canal, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids have to sacrifice the space for the inclusion of more powerful processors and amplifiers, some of the more advanced technological features and the larger battery sizes that is possible in some larger hearing aid styles. Also due to their position completely within the ear canal, there is no option for binaural communication between different hearing aids, meaning that if you wear two Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids then each will need to be adjusted separately. They can also only incorporate one microphone, however, this is actually less of an issue that you might think as Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids do not tend to suffer from issues with sound directionality detection which dual microphones tend to address.
As they are very small, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can only hold the smallest battery sizes, this means that they are unable to support the more powerful processors and amplifiers that more severe levels of hearing loss require. Also, the battery life of Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids is much shorter than for hearing aids styles which can accommodate larger battery sizes.
Because Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids completely fill the ear canal they can cause issues of occlusion such as; hearing your own voice louder or it sounding hollow, feeling that your ear is blocked or chewing and swallowing sounding noisy or unpleasant. Larger hearing aid styles such as In The Ear (ITE) or In The Canal (ITC) can include a vent to circumnavigate occlusion issues, however, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are too small for this to be possible.
If your ear canal is unusually small or of a non-standard shape then you may not be able to get an Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid to fit. However, for the majority of people, this is not normally a problem.
As with much technology, the smaller it gets the more expensive it gets and the same can sometimes be said for Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids. Add that to their custom made design and they can be some of the most expensive types of hearing aids on the market. However, if you choose to buy your Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aid from HearingAid.org.uk then you will pay the same price regardless of which style of hearing aid you choose.
Obviously Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are unable to have controls situated on the aids themselves, so any adjustments to settings, volume or programmes have to be made via a dedicated external remote controller. Their position deep within the ear canal also means that they are unable to connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Most control devices are very small and discreet however the fact that they exist at all may be off-putting or unsuitable for some users.
Because they are so small and discreet, Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids can be unsuitable for users with dexterity issues, or potentially with visual impairments. The devices themselves are very small, as is the wire that is used for insertion and removal. Also, practices such as general cleaning and maintenance and changing the batteries can be quite fiddly.
As Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids sit quite deeply within the ear canal, they are more susceptible to damage from the natural moisture within your ear and the buildup of earwax. This means that they require a higher level of often quite precise cleaning and maintenance to keep them in perfect working order.
To find out more about Invisible In the Canal (IIC) hearing aids, or any of the other types of hearing aids that are available, contact our advisors and let us help you find the right hearing aid today.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.