How the CIC Hearing Aid Looks and Feels
The completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid style is one of the smaller hearing devices available. The body of the hearing aid fits entirely inside your ear canal, making it almost invisible. The outside shell comes with a variety of end colours to blend with different skin tones. The hearing aid can only be seen when you look into the ear canal, making this style ideal for those who are concerned about the cosmetics of a hearing device. The shell of the CIC, the part that goes into the ear canal – is either red or blue. As with all audio equipment, red is for right and blue is for left. For the person wearing CICs, this helps to determine which CIC goes into which ear.
CIC Hearing Aids Feature a Natural Sound Profile
The CIC hearing aid produces a natural sound profile, using the advantage of the resonances of the ear profile to conduct its natural function. The users voice will sound more natural to themselves in comparison to styles with a microphone outside of the ear canal. This same placement also reduces wind noise distractions and helps to detect where sound is coming from because the sound funnels through the ear canal.
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Determining Whether CIC Hearing Aids Are Right for You
The benefit of the small size also presents some draw backs: the CIC cannot house a large amplifier to provide lots of power. This is why the CIC is best suited to those with a mild to moderate degree of hearing loss. There is very little “real estate” to house additional technology in its tiny space. For example, telecoils (aka T-coils: which use a magnetic field to support hearing on the telephone), are often not included in CICs.
Small switches to change programs on the hearing aids are also not available. Another thing to note is that good manual dexterity is required to handle the CIC. There is only a tiny wire or “fishing line” wire used to assist in removing and inserting the device, which requires good manual dexterity to do on your own. The small batteries offer a shortened life span increasing the frequency of replacement.
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Options to Consider When Selecting a Hearing Aid
The device is usually custom made to fit your ears comfortably, however not all ear shapes can accommodate this style.
Your hearing health professional will be able to advise if you are a good candidate during a consultation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
A completely in canal hearing aid should sit directly in the ear canal and be nearly invisible to others unless they are looking directly into the ear. It should not sit too deep in the ear canal or else it will be difficult to remove, and no part of the device should sit outside the canal where it is at risk of falling out and becoming damaged.
Because of the compact size of this style of hearing aid, a completely in canal device will not usually come with manual volume controls. Many models of completely in canal hearing aid include wireless connectivity where you can control to device volume from a smart phone or tablet. To make sure you get a hearing aid that works for you, be sure to talk with our audiologists to find the right device.
To clean your completely in canal hearing aid, you will first want to wipe the surface of the device with a cleaning solution. Many CIC devices come with a cleaning brush which you will need to use to clean out any dirt or earwax that has collected in the sound outlet and vent holes. Finally, the device should be left out of your ear for a while (at night while sleeping works best) to allow any moisture in or on the device to dry out.
A completely in canal hearing aid is one of the most discreet types of hearing device on the market and are barely noticeable when worn. Also, because of how the device fits in the ear canal, the sound quality on a completely in canal hearing aid is fantastic.
Completely in canal hearing aids are best used by people with mild to moderate cases of hearing loss. They are also a fantastic option for people who are self conscious about the aesthetics of wearing a hearing aid, since the device is so discreet. Due to the small size of this style of hearing device, people with dexterity issues may find these difficult to handle and insert into their ear and should consider another option. Our professional clinic staff will discuss your options with you and find the perfect hearing aid to suit your needs.