Open Fit Hearing Aids
One of the most beneficial advancements to come to hearing aids in the last decade is “open fit” technology. This style of fit is incredibly comfortable, discreet, and works for mild to moderate, and sometimes even severe hearing losses. You can see a list of all the latest open-fit hearing aids (including prices) here. The biggest benefit to wearing open fit hearing aids is the quality of sound and comfort. First of all, open fit hearing aids are super comfortable, because the only thing that actually goes inside your ear canal is a tiny rubber dome or “tip” which is where the sound comes out of the hearing aid. That “tip” is technically known as the “receiver” of the hearing aid. Aside from comfort, another benefit of open fit hearing aids is the fact that because they do not take up much of your ear canal, they greatly reduce occlusion. If you want to experience occlusion for a minute, take both of your index fingers and plug up your ears, and then talk to yourself. Notice how it sounds like you are talking in a bucket, like your head is in a barrel? This is occlusion, and this is what it sounds like (to some degree) wearing many of the traditional in-the-ear hearing aids. Because open fit hearing aids do not occlude your ear canals, the occlusion effect is greatly minimized, leading to a much more natural and rich quality of sound.
Can I wear an open fit hearing aid?
The answer to that will depend solely on your audiogram (the results of your hearing screening). Most people with a mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss will do very well with open fit hearing aids, as they are excellent at amplifying high frequency sounds in a very natural-sounding way. A properly fit set of open-fit hearing aids is probably the closest thing to having no hearing aids at all, and hearing well again. After a few minutes of wearing open fit aids, you completely forget they are there, and they usually sound very natural after a little adjustment by your dispenser. If you have a severe loss, or a lot of loss in the low frequencies, open fits are probably not the best option for you, but you don’t have to rule them out. I have been surprised many times by people who on paper would not have been good candidates for open fit hearing aids, but still find success with them.
Can open fit hearing aids be seen by others?
Yes. Barely. Many people would never know that you are wearing open fit hearing aids unless they stood a foot away from you and tried to look for them. They are fit in such a discrete way, that they can hardly ever be seen. Their visibility will of course vary depending on your hairstyle, anatomy of your ears, and how well the available sizes of the devices sit in your ear.
How long do the batteries last?
Battery life is going to vary depending on the severity of your loss, daily usage, and the actual unit you are using. If you wear your aids 16 hours a day, you will probably get about 10-14 days out of each battery. Remember, always open your battery door at night to turn off the aid and preserve the battery life, and always store your batteries in a room temperature environment.
How much do open fit hearing aids cost
Open fit aids cost the same as any other style of hearing aids. The cost of hearing aids is usually determined by the technology level of the aid itself, from economy to premium, and is not usually effected by the style of the device that you choose. Entry level hearing aids usually start at around $1,300 each, and for premium technology you can expect to pay over $3k per aid.
If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.