When it comes to choosing a hearing aid, there are a number of options available to you. Although your audiologist will certainly be able to help you make that decision, you should also do your own research to make sure you know that you’re picking the right hearing aid for you based on both your needs and your personal preferences. In this post, we’re going to talk about custom-fit hearing aids to determine if one might be right for you.
What is a Custom-Fit Hearing Aid?
A custom-fit hearing aid is one that is specially-made to fit in your ear. Your hearing center expert will make a mold of your ear and that’s what will be used to make a hearing aid that will then perfectly fit into your ear canal. There are several advantages and disadvantages to custom-fit hearing aids that we’ll be discussing here that will help you decide if a custom-fit hearing aid is the right hearing aid solution for you or not.
Advantages to a Custom-Fit Hearing Aid
Easily one of the biggest and most obvious advantages is that a custom-fit hearing aid is going to be much more comfortable compared to standard-made hearing aids. Since standard-made hearing aids are made to fit the “average” ear, they may not fit properly or completely comfortably into every person’s ear. Comfort is important because it’s important to wear your hearing aid all day, every day, and that becomes difficult or even impossible with an uncomfortable-fitting standard-made hearing aid.
Improved Hearing Quality
Even if a standard-made hearing aid does fit well into your ear canal, there will likely be some spaces along the sides. These spaces can make hearing more difficult, and can prevent you from having the best possible hearing experience. A custom-fit hearing aid, on the other hand, will fit snugly into your ear canal and creates a much better seal that prevents the gaps which lead to decreased hearing.
Another reason that most people will experience better hearing quality with a custom-fit hearing aid is that it allows the receiver to deliver the sound much more closely to the ear drum itself. This allows the sound to be delivered more directly to the part of the ear which is responsible for hearing, so the sound quality is much better and sounds much more natural.
Less Wind Interference
One of the jobs of your outer ear is to shield your inner ear from wind so that the wind doesn’t interfere with your ability to hear. When you’re using custom-fit hearing aids that set inside the ear canal, this wind-blocking becomes even more important as the sensitive hearing aid microphones are prone to pick up everything, including wind, leading to whistling and static. However, because of the positioning of custom-fit hearing aids, your outer ear can do its job and the hearing aid is not as likely to pick up wind.
Disadvantages of Custom-Fit Hearing Aids
The biggest disadvantage of custom-fit hearing aids is that they are more expensive than standard-made models. This is because rather than the manufacturer being able to make hearing aids in bulk, each one has to be custom-made in order to perfectly fit your ear canal. This makes them more expensive compared to the standard-made hearing aid options, which can be a serious drawback if you’re not able to get help with paying for hearing aids.
Custom-fit hearing aids are small because they fit inside the ear canal. For some people, handling such a small device and tiny batteries may make it difficult to deal with. Its small size also prevents the custom-fit hearing aid from having many exterior controls, which can make it difficult to change the volume and other settings.
If you think a custom-fit hearing aid might be right for you, be sure to talk to your audiologist about it today!