Completely in the Canal hearing aids or CIC are hearing aids that fit completely in the ear canal. As such, they are the least visible and smallest aids available in the market. Since they are placed completely in the ear canal, they offer several advantages when it comes to aesthetics and listening experience.
CIC Hearing Aids Compontents
In CICs, all components (microphone, speaker, batteries, and vent) are placed inside a tiny plastic case that sits right in the ear canal. Since they are placed quite deep in the ear canal, CIC hearing aids come with a removal thread/cord to help the user in pulling out the device.
CIC hearing aids are custom made for the user since they have to be placed inside the canal. Many people prefer CICs as they are virtually unnoticeable unless one looks inside the ear.
CIC hearing aids are not recommended for children, as they are difficult to remove and maintain. They are also not recommended for people who have good low-frequency hearing.
Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids are recommended for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
CIC hearing aids offer many advantages compared to other hearing aids.
- A major listening advantage to CIC hearing aids is that it offers a similar experience to normal hearing since the microphone is placed in the ear canal.
- Ideal speaker location
In CIC hearing aids, the speaker is located very close to the eardrums when worn. The location does not only offer better reception but it also requires less amplification. Users also experience less feedback problems.
- Easy to Use with a Telephone
Unlike BTEs (Behind the Ear) hearing aids, CIC hearing aids make it easier to talk on the phone because they don’t impede the positioning of the phone against the ear. With CICs, users can talk on the phone like they would if they weren’t wearing hearing aids.
- Provides adequate ventilation to the ear
- Reduced Occlusion Effect
Users report a reduced occlusion effect when using CIC hearing aids since it is deeply placed in the ear canal. The positioning eliminates that ‘hollow’ perception of sound and reduces echoes when hearing one’s own voice.
- Offers Wind Protection
As with any other type of hearing aid, CIC hearings aids also have some disadvantages especially when it comes to features, some of these disadvantages include:
- Smaller batteries
As the all the components of CIC hearing aids are placed in a tiny case that fits inside the ear canal, smaller batteries are used. As such, they don’t last as long as the larger batteries of BTEs.
- Removal and Adjustments
While CIC hearing aids come with a removal cord, it can still take a bit of practice before users get used to removing it. Making adjustments is also much more difficult as you have to completely remove your hearing aids before you can apply any adjustments.
- Less Space for Additional Features
Due to its small size, CIC hearing aids don’t offer much space for additional features like a telecoil, volume controls, and directional microphones.
- Not Suitable for Severe to Profound Hearing Loss
Another major disadvantage to CIC hearing aids is that they can only accommodate mild to moderate hearing loss. Their small size means that their capacity for volume and power is also decreased.
- Not recommended for people prone to ear wax build up and ear infections.
Despite the disadvantages when it comes to power and features, CIC hearing aids are still very popular due to their cosmetic and listening advantages. If you have mild to moderate hearing loss and you want hearing aids that are “barely there”, CIC hearing aids are worth considering. Consult your audiologist to find out if CICs can accommodate your degree of hearing loss.