I have always said that the most important thing about your hearing instrument is that you ‘want to wear it.’ It needs to be comfortable and eventually become virtually unnoticeable. There is not one choice that is best for all.
So a little breakdown: first is the style that fits above and over your ear with the little wire that leads down to a little receiver with a rubber bud on the end of it. It is called a RIC or Receiver-in-the-ear. These can be quite comfortable... and right from the start. Often patients will say they ‘don’t even know it’s there.’ However, these instruments can not be made as powerful as custom-made products. This is because the sound is pressure and a custom shell that seals the ear more will keep more pressure in the ear. The tighter the seal the less chance of that annoying whistling or chirping. That being said; Starkey has made their earbud-style receivers much stronger in the last 2 years and many patients that had to have a custom shell in their ear to make sure it was strong enough are now able to wear the little ear bud if they find it more pleasing.
The next style: Custom. This is any style in which we take an impression of your ear for them to make the product. They may fill up the whole ear or be as small as the end of a Q-tip ™ and be invisible down in the ear canal. ALL of them should be comfortable and within just a couple of short weeks you should feel as though they are just a ‘second thought’. Our office has a lab and we work on the fit and modify the aid as needed. Fitting custom products is like fitting dentures or fillings. We are trained to provide the very best solutions for your needs.
So how do you know which is best? Again, the MOST important thing... Is that you LIKE to wear them. After the hearing consultation, we try the different models on you so you can see what is the most comfortable. We start there. Components available in the hearing instruments help with noise control and programming flexibility so the results of your hearing test and those prescriptive needs must be addressed. Your wants; Rechargeable or Batteries? Until this year the only rechargeable instruments were the ones over the years. Now, we have custom ‘In-the-ear’ and smaller ‘In-the-canal’ rechargeable hearing instruments as well. Starkey Hearing Technologies is the first and only company to produce a “Bluetooth, rechargeable ‘CUSTOM’ hearing instrument.