Custom hearing aids come in different sizes. From the largest to the smallest, there is the in-the-ear full shell (ITE – FS), in-the-ear half shell (ITE – HS), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC). Just like their names indicated, the bigger the hearing aid the more noticeable it will be.
To determine which one of these custom hearing aids suitable for you there are multiple determining factors, and they are:
- The severity of hearing loss
- Age-related factors: Vision and Dexterity
The severity of hearing loss
This article we are going to mainly focus on age-related factors; however, to quickly summarize the factor, the severity of hearing loss; the more severe the hearing loss that you have, the bigger the hearing aid it needs to be. This is because the bigger the hearing aid, the more power that the hearing aid can provide.
In addition, the more severe the hearing loss the harder the hearing aid needs to work, or in other words the more amplification that the hearing aid needs to provide. The more amplification the hearing aid needs to provide, the more energy power it requires, and therefore, the bigger the battery it needs to be, and the bigger the battery the bigger the hearing aid.
Age-related factors of hearing loss
In the context of hearing aid, vision stands for how well one can see small objects, and in terms of dexterity, it means how well can one handle small objects, such as can the patient button their own shirt?
As part of the general human aging process, as we get older we not only lose our hearing, but we will also progressively lose our vision and dexterity. Therefore, the older the patient gets, or the worse their vision and dexterity get, the bigger the hearing aid needs to be. The bigger the size of the hearing aid, the easier it is for the elderlies to handle and clean their hearing aids.
If the elder ones can take care of their own hearing aid maintenance, this will also help to relieve some pressure off the shoulders of the caregivers. The bigger size hearing aids will also provide more surface area for elderlies to hold on to the hearing aid when they need to insert or remove their hearing aid from their ears.
And last but not the least, the bigger the size, the easier it is for the patient to visualize and feel the different parts of the hearing aids, such as volume controls and push buttons.
As an audiologist and based on my own experience, generally speaking, custom hearing aids are the better option for the elder ones. This is because a custom hearing aid is like a piece of a puzzle to the specific side of the ear.
It will only fit one specific ear, in fact, if one attempts to insert the right hearing aid into the left ear, it will not fit at all. Secondly, behind-the-ear hearing aids require two steps when insert into the ears; step one, hang the hearing aid over the ear and then insert the dome or the ear mold into the ear. This two-step process can be challenging for elderlies.
Custom hearing aids will typically only require one single step if the patient orientated themselves correctly to the hearing aid. Hence, this is also another huge plus for selecting custom hearing aids for your elderly patients.
AcoSound IIC hearing aid
The most advantage of AcoSound ruby series is its super discreet and customization. it's 5%-20% smaller than the traditional IIC hearing aids, 100% invisible in the ear. That means people you're talking to can't notice you're wearing hearing aid.
They need your ear sample and audiograms. Then will customize the hearing aid according to your ear canal and audiogram.