Look at the latest statistics, and you may be surprised to see just how many people are affected by hearing loss. Tens of millions of Americans report some hearing loss, and it is estimated that over 28 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids. Unfortunately, many of those that could benefit, choose not to purchase them. In some cases, it is cost; in others the belief that the hearing loss isn’t bad enough to need hearing aids. In many cases, though, it is because of the persistent negative stigma often associated with wearing hearing aids.
Many would rather miss out on conversations, limit social interaction and potentially increase their risk of certain associated conditions such as depression and dementia than be on the receiving end of those knowing looks they fear they might see if others catch a glimpse of a hearing aid.
Hearing aid companies are listening and rapidly removing that barrier to wearing hearing aids with ever more discreet designs that don’t sacrifice on performance. Today’s practically invisible listening devices come complete with an array of features to help users with hearing loss listen fully without worrying about the old hearing aid stigma.
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss or believe you may have some hearing impairment, work with your hearing healthcare provider to get a hearing evaluation to determine your needs and which of today’s sleeker hearing aids is right for you.
Here are a few of the newest discreet hearing aid designs out on the market to help you hear better with confidence:
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
These styles are exactly what the name implies, a custom-made hearing device tucked inside the ear canal and away from the eyes of others. A hearing aid fitting is crucial for these choices as they are made from an impression of your unique ear canal. Additional fittings and adjustments may be needed for optimal performance and fit and are often included in your provider’s cost.
With any hearing aid, proper care is crucial to protecting the device and your investment. This is especially true with CIC hearing aids tucked snugly inside the ear throughout the day. Earwax clogging the speaker can also be a concern with these models.
Receiver in the Ear (RITE)
This style of hearing aid works with a small hidden receiver in the ear canal and a discrete hearing aid placed behind the ear. The two pieces are generally connected by a thin, almost invisible tube or wire providing powerful listening ability with a design that often goes unnoticed by others.
As with CIC hearing aids, proper care and cleaning are essential.
It’s not just hearing aid designs that are helping users listen with confidence. Supporting technology such as connected apps and devices are also giving those with hearing loss ways to manage their hearing aids discreetly.
If you’re ready to start hearing better with one of the sleek new hearing aids now on the market or looking for technology to help you better manage your hearing aids, discuss options with your hearing healthcare provider.