You might choose a custom-made instrument, more commonly known as an in the ear or ‘ITE’ hearing aid based on cosmetic appeal, but the most appropriate will depend on the size and shape of your ear canal and the type of hearing loss you have.
They are a good choice especially if you don’t have room behind your ear for both glasses and a hearing aid. These aids are available in various sizes from IIC – invisible in the canal to FS – full shell, which fills the ear.
To make an in the ear hearing aid, an impression is taken of the ear allowing the laboratory to produce a perfect ‘hand in glove’ fit, meaning that this type of hearing aid will only fit the ear it was made for. The Hearing Professional will then expertly set adjust the settings to suit the hearing loss.
The IIC and slightly larger CIC instruments will suit a mild to moderate hearing loss whilst the canal and half shell devices will accommodate more severe losses depending on the size and shape of the ear canal. The full shell can fit up to a profound hearing loss.
The larger style ITC and FS custom made hearing aids have the capacity to fit additional features such as hearing loops and even the smallest instruments can have full wireless capabilities allowing both connections to ancillary items like your TV set, smartphone or tablet, and importantly for hearing in background noise to each other, allowing binaural processing of sound – just as unimpaired hearing would do.
A good Audiologist will guide you through the options for in the ear hearing aids based on the audiology as well as the cosmetic, ensuring the system performs its primary task of helping you hear well.