Audiologist Amy White discusses some of the pros and cons of IIC and CIC hearing devices. Benefits include cosmetic appeal and discretion, and fallbacks include battery life and steaming limitations. IIC and CIC devices are not right for everybody, so talk to your Elk Grove Hearing Care professional to learn more.
Hi, this is Dr. Amy White, audiologist at Elk Grove Hearing Care, and today I’m here to talk to you about a style of hearing aid called an IIC or a CIC. IICs and CICs basically stand for completely-in-the-canal or invisible-in-the-canal hearing devices. These devices are very, very tiny, such like this, and the whole device goes down inside your ear canal; that means you don’t have anything on top of your ear at all. All of the electronics are really deep in your ear canal.
Some people are really drawn to these devices because of cosmetic appeal. They are the kind that are the least visible in many cases, as long as your ear canal is large enough to accommodate all the electronics, that is. Sometimes we don’t know how well or how deep these hearing aids are going to fit until they’re made, so oftentimes, you know, it’s a disclaimer: We’ll go ahead and try to get it to be as invisible as possible, but it’s not always the case. If your ear canals are too small, it just may not work out.
When we go to make these IICs or CICs, we take impressions of your ears. That’s basically a casting or a molding that we do of your ear canals, and then we send that to the lab at the hearing aid manufacturer, and that’s how they build these devices, so they fit your ears and your ears alone.
The drawbacks to the IIC can be a few. One is if you’re interested in wireless streaming or Bluetooth connectivity and devices that connect to your cellphone and TVs and iPads, that’s not possible with these little guys because they’re so small that manufacturers can’t put the antennas in them necessary to make that streaming capability available. The other is the battery size. The batteries are really, really tiny in these, so in most cases, they have to be changed about every three to four days. So just know that your battery life is limited due to the size of the battery and the size of the device. But if you really are interested in a very small cosmetically appealing hearing aid that perhaps no one else will ever know you have on, these may be the devices for you.
If you would like to learn more about these, please call us at 916-627-1494 for more information. Elk Grove Hearing Care.