Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids

With so many types of hearing aids out there, it can be difficult to make a choice on one that will suit your requirements and lifestyle, should you need one. In this blog, we are going to be covering the ‘Completely in the Canal Hearing Aid’ (CIC) hearing aid and go through both its positives and negatives.

In our last blog, we wrote about the ‘Invisible in the canal’ (IIC) hearing aid. We do reference this type of hearing aid in this blog, so we recommend giving that one a read for more information on that type of aid.

CIC hearing aids are the next size up from the IIC aids, although like the IIC hearing aids, CIC aids still require the Hearing Aid Dispenser to take ear impressions, so they fit into your ear canal. The main difference between the two styles is that the faceplate and battery draw is more exposed to the CIC which makes them almost invisible, in comparison to the IIC, which is completely hidden.

The major advantages to using this particular hearing aid are that it’s available in several power options unlike the IIC, which is only available in one, this means that the CIC is suitable for those who may have severe hearing losses. Also, despite it not being as hidden as the IIC, the CIC is almost completely invisible, which is extremely good for those who don’t want their hearing aids to be seen by others. Like the IIC, the CIC’s microphone position makes it an extremely practical option for tasks like answering the telephone.

However, there are also some disadvantages to this particular type of hearing aid, and a number of its faults are similar to the IIC aid. To start, CIC aids are also not the greatest in situations with lots of background noise, which isn’t ideal when in public places. They also share the issue of being more susceptible to failure due to moisture and wax in the ear canal, which can block the microphones within the aid. The hearing aid may also need to be re-shelled in the future if the size of the ear canal changes. The CIC also shares a similar battery life to the IIC, which is around 3-5 days as a result of their size. The size also means that a CIC may not be suitable for those with manual dexterity issues.

At Otec Hearing, we will recommend to you the hearing aid that suits your requirements best. If you have any questions about Completely in the Canal hearing aids, or any other form of aids, feel free to contact us! You can do so by emailing us or giving us a call on 01522 305400.

Invisible in the Ear Canal Hearing Aids

There are many hearing aids to choose from, but you must select one to suit your individual needs, should you ever need one. Today, we are going to be covering the ‘Invisible in the canal’ (IIC) hearing aid and go through both its positives and negatives.

IIC hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet hearing aid on the market. They are manufactured by taking ear impressions so that they fit entirely into your ear canal. This is what gives them the name ‘invisible’, as they are completely hidden. Because of their size, IIC hearing aids power with a size 10 battery – the smallest hearing aid battery.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of aid. One of the first main advantages of this hearing aid is the fact that it is virtually invisible, this is important to people who may not want people to see that they use a hearing aid. IIC hearing aids are also known for their ease of use when using a telephone, which makes them very practical. On top of this, the position of the microphone within the hearing aid is very good.

However, there are some downsides to using this particular type of hearing aid. One of the main disadvantages is the battery size. As it is so small, an IIC can only last around 3-5 days, which is not a long time in comparison to other hearing aids. Another downside to their size is that they are not suitable for those who suffer from manual dexterity issues. IIC aids are also not the greatest in situations with lots of background noise, which is not ideal when in public places. In addition, IIC hearing aids have been known to be more susceptible to failure as a result of moisture and wax in the ear canal, which can block the microphones.

At Otec Hearing, we ensure that if you need a hearing aid, you are given one that suits your individual needs and requirements.

Get in contact with us for more information on hearing aids by calling us on 01522 305400.

What Happens During a Hearing Test?

Hearing tests are something that many people will have at some point during their lives. If you’re someone who has never had a hearing test, we hope this article can be useful in telling you what to expect if you do need to attend one later down the line.

A hearing test is carried out by a qualified Audiologist. The purpose of a hearing test is to gain a clear concise picture of your hearing health. The results can indicate what type of hearing loss you may have, it can show us the severity of the loss across a range of frequencies and what type of hearing aid may be suitable for your hearing loss. At Otec Hearing, our expert hearing aid dispensers will take their time in understanding your lifestyle, needs for a hearing aid and any personal challenges you may have.

A thorough medical history is also discussed to determine any health effects on your hearing. Once this has been completed a medical device called an Audiometer will be used to carry out the hearing test. The test is carried out by the Audiologist who will ask you to wear some calibrated headphones. This is known as air conduction – the sounds you can hear via headphones. Once you have the headphones on you will hear a range of different beeps and buzzes at different frequencies. The Audiologist will ask you to respond to the quietest sounds you can hear by pressing a response button.

Testing is also carried out with a headband called a bone conductor; the bone conductor is placed on the back bony area of the ear. The patient again responds to the quietest sounds with the response button.
Air conduction and bone conduction results and plotted on a graph called an Audiogram. The Audiologist will discuss the hearing test results with you and inform you of the severity of your hearing loss. If you have a free hearing test at Otec Hearing, our experts will then offer you certain hearing aid solutions and discuss which one may be the best to suit your lifestyle and needs. If there is a hearing loss present the Audiologist will offer a demonstration to show you the difference in rediscovering your hearing. At this point, you also have the option to start your free hearing aid trial on the day so you can experience your hearing ability with the equipment in various environments.

Preventing Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects 1 in 6 people, this is almost over 10 million people in the UK who suffer. Hearing loss cannot always be avoidable as it is part of the gradual ageing process. There are some steps you can take to avoid damage to your hearing system no matter how old you are.

Firstly, it is best to avoid situations where there are excessive background noises, you can make a judgement on how loud peripheral noises are if you are having to raise your voice in order to be heard. Other red flags are if you struggle to hear the person next to you or if you experience pain in your ears. Prolonged noise exposure in these environments can cause permanent damage to your hearing. To keep your ears healthy, it is recommended you minimise your time in areas with high noise pollution.

It is quite common for an individual to have their headphone or earphone volume higher than it is recommended. But what effect does this have? Using headphones or earphones excessively at high volumes can cause hearing impairment. It is advisable to have the volume level at no more than 65% of the maximum volume. Headphones with noise-cancelling technology are the better choice to use as this will prevent you from having to turn up your overall volume in order to block out surrounding sounds.

If you work in a particularly noisy environment it is the duty of your employer to make changes to your working conditions to reduce as much noise pollution as possible. This can be done by changing the job/machinery you work on. Make sure you are not exposed to loud noises for prolonged periods. Your employer must provide you with hearing protection if it’s required.

We hope this article has been helpful, if you still have any questions regarding preventing hearing loss, feel free to get in touch with us by emailing us or giving us a call on 01522 305400.

Signs and Diagnosis of Hearing Loss

Signs and Diagnosis of Hearing Loss:
For many people, hearing loss is a natural and gradual part of the aging process. Hearing loss can also be caused by genetic medical conditions, ear infections, illness, traumatic injury, or prolonged exposure to noise. It is reported that there are more than 10 million people in the UK with hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the world’s most common health problems. It is also one of the most ignored problems, this is unfortunate because hearing loss and its psychological side effects are highly treatable.

How do I know if I’m suffering from Hearing Loss?
There are many signs of hearing loss, these can include:

  • asking people to repeat themselves
  • difficulty understanding speech clarity in a noisy social situation such as bars & restaurants
  • having the volume of the TV louder than others
  • difficulty in locating the direction of sounds and poor understanding when following group conversations.

Who diagnoses me with Hearing Loss, if it’s something I’m suffering from?
A hearing test is carried out by a qualified health care professional or an Audiologist. The test can last up to 20 minutes and gives a diagnosis as to whether you may or may not have a hearing loss, if a hearing loss is detected the severity and type of hearing loss can be determined. At Otec Hearing, we provide a free hearing test, and we come to you. Visit our hearing test page for more information.

How can hearing loss be treated?
Hearing loss is treated depending on the type of hearing loss present. Medications such as steroids or a small surgical procedure to remove a blockage can be used as a treatment. Alternative treatments such as hearing aids which are assistive medical devices can help provide rich sound quality in many environments. If you have any questions or queries around hearing loss, feel free to get in touch with us by either emailing us or calling us on 01522 305400.