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Choosing the appropriate hearing aid can be challenging, particularly if you are not familiar with the features that make one model different than another. This article will introduce you to open fit hearing aids – a relatively new style that is growing in popularity.

Open fit hearing aids have many similarities with behind-the-ear devices. This type of hearing aid consists of a plastic case that rests behind the ear and a small tube that connects the case to the ear canal. However, the case and the tube on the open fit hearing aids are substantially smaller than on behind-the-ear hearing aids.One of the distinguishing characteristics of open fit hearing aids is that it keeps the ear ventilated. Low frequency sounds are able to enter the ear without being amplified. This allows many people with mild to moderate hearing loss who are still able to hear low frequency sounds to have a more comfortable and natural experience. For the wearer, this means that distracting sounds such as your own chewing or coughing are not amplified resulting in greater comfort and satisfaction.

Another major advantage of open fit hearing aids is their small size. They are a favorite among hearing aid wearers that want to conceal or disguise their device.

Open fit hearing aids do have downsides, particularly for users who have deep hearing loss. The levels of amplification needed for users with major hearing loss often lead to feedback noise due to the device’s openness. Individuals with poor dexterity or fine motor skills may find it difficult to operate these small devices. Because of its small size, this device uses very small batteries, potentially making regular changes or recharges necessary.

Despite its flaws, the open fit hearing aid is a great choice for many users. Consult with your hearing professional to determine if the open fit type of hearing aid may be the best for your unique hearing needs and lifestyle.