Invisible In-the-canal Hearing Aids (IIC)

Similar to a poltergeist, invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids are experts in producing noise while not being seen.

The biggest draw for these devices is in the name – they’re effectively invisible. For a lot of individuals, the idea of wearing a hearing aid is less than appealing due to the fact that they don’t want to be seen wearing one. But with the genesis of IIC hearing aids that are capable of entering your ear canal entirely, unsightly tech is a thing of the past!

If you’d like to know more about IIC hearing aids, you can always ask a qualified hearing healthcare professional in person. To do this – for free – you can fill out our quick and easy online form, and you’ll have an appointment arranged for you!

What are IIC hearing aids?

It’s in the name – IIC hearing aids are hearing aids that go inside the user’s ear canal, and go so far in that they become essentially invisible. This means they’re quite small – the smallest hearing aids on the market, as it goes – since they have to fit in the 0.3 inch opening that is the ear canal.

iic-hearing-aid-style

Much like your fingerprint or DNA, your ear canal is unique to you. This means that IIC hearing aids must be crafted to fit the individual user’s ear canal – one size certainly does not fit all.

To do this, the hearing aid specialist will craft a silicon cast of the patient’s ear, which will then be used to create a mold for the hearing aid – meaning it will fit snugly into your ear canal.

Like we mentioned, they’re the smallest kind of hearing aid, which means that they can’t be as packed with features (like telecoil or Bluetooth) as other larger hearing aids. And since they’re smaller, they take smaller batteries, meaning their battery life is shorter than larger hearing aids’.

Finally, again due to their small size, they aren’t exactly the most powerful hearing aids out there – they’re mostly suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, the least severe forms of hearing loss.

IIC hearing aid features

This may be our shortest section on record. Like we said earlier, IIC hearing aids are pretty bare-bones devices. No Bluetooth, no telecoils, and only occasionally wireless functionality, depending on the manufacturer. But even then, it will only connect to the hearing aids’ app, not your phone in general.

IIC hearing aids vs other hearing aids

So they’re invisible, but lack features and battery life. Are there any other things you should know about when looking at IIC hearing aids?

As far as comfort goes, IIC hearing aids are a bit of a paradox. When they’re first inserted, it can be very obvious that you have something lodged in your ear canal. But as the days and weeks go on, it’s easy to get used to them, as the true comfort reveals itself.

Ear

Is there a hearing aid in there? There's no way of knowing!

One of the biggest complaints regarding many kinds of hearing aids is their tendency to come loose and fall out. But since IIC hearing aids are snugly placed into your ear canal, no amount of shaking or jolting will get them to come out (provided they’re correctly fitted).

One final issue you may have is that IIC hearing aids, due to their placement in the ear canal, are more susceptible to moisture – something that can really damage hearing aids over time. Hearing aids are made up of delicate electrical components, so any more than the tiniest amount of moisture can wreak havoc. This is something to bear in mind if you have an above-average level of aural moisture.

IIC hearing aid costs

Despite the much-sought-after privilege of the hearing aid being invisible to the human eye, IIC hearing aids aren’t particularly more costly than any other kind of hearing aid. Price will obviously vary between individual models, based on the materials of the casing or the standard of the digital innards.

Overall

No type of hearing aid is better or worse than any other. They’re all chosen and specialized to the individual user’s needs. IIC hearing aids are pretty bare-bones feature-wise, but their complete imperceptibility is a big plus for anyone looking to conceal their hearing tech.

Choice is always a good thing, and you can be helped through making yours by a qualified hearing healthcare professional. If you follow this link and fill out our online form, you’ll be able to arrange a free consultation near you. There, you’ll be able to discuss hearing aid options in depth.

Lindsey Banks

Lindsey Banks

Audiologist

Lindsey Banks is a graduate of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Florida. She uses her diverse experience in hearing healthcare and her passion for helping people to provide credible information to those with hearing loss who visit Everyday Hearing.

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