The Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aid: the smallest and most discreet hearing aid
Hearing aids are available in many different shapes and sizes. Above all Prescott Hearing Center has a hearing aid to suit anyone’s unique circumstances. In future blogs, we will describe features of different styles of hearing aids, their advantages, and the potential disadvantages of each. Let’s begin with the smallest and most discreet hearing aid of all: The Invisible-In-Canal (IIC).
Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids are the smallest custom hearing aids available today.
In the first place, the Invisible-in-canal hearing aid is designed and sculptured to fit entirely inside your ear canal (external auditory meatus). Therefore, the hearing aid is almost completely invisible. Usually, extraction cords are fitted to IIC hearing aids to help insert and remove the aid from the ear.
IIC hearing aids offer some great benefits:
- The miniature size makes them virtually invisible.
- The microphone is inside the ear canal, as opposed to behind the ear, it helps with telephone conversations.
- The IIC works with the external ear (pinna) to preserve natural acoustics. Therefore, sensing sounds from front and behind are protected.
Along with the great benefits of the IIC come some limitations:
- Smaller ears may not accommodate the instrument. Ear anatomy must be of a particular shape and size to accommodate the device.
- The IIC is less powerful than most other hearing aids, due to the smaller receiver size.
- The single Omni-directional microphone receives sounds from every direction; at the same time, this can be a problem with background noise situations.
- IIC units have fewer special features than most other types of hearing aids.
- Because they are inside the ear canal, IIC units have limited venting, which may be a bit uncomfortable at times.
- IIC hearing aids can require more maintenance because they are vulnerable to damage due to ear wax.
- The hearing aids are so small, the battery life of IIC hearing aid is limited, coupled with being the most difficult of all hearing aids to handle.