what are you guys take on the two styles? IIC is definitely better for its invisibilities and RIC has more bells and whistles when it comes to functions. I have mild hearing loss and obviously don’t wanna attract attentions to my HAs.
I don’t find the RIC type very visible. I believe that style has about 75% of the market.
Over the 15 years I have been wearing hearing aids, I may have had one person ask me about my hearing aids, and that person was wearing aids himself.
Trying to wear an IIC with mild loss is difficult at best unless you have an ear canal that is twice the average size.
Most people don’t have big enough ear canals to vent enough to let the hearing you have that is close to normal come in naturally. So blocking the canal means having to put energy back in the low frequencies, between 125 and 700 hz, which makes everything louder, which makes acclimating much more difficult.
Not to mention that if you any movement in your ear canal when you chew, you are always aware of this hard thing stuck in your ear. With a RIC, the dome conforms even if you have exaggerated movement in your ear canal, so you don’t really know it’s there besides the fact that you hear better with it on that you do when it’s not.
I think eric.cobb has hit the nail on the head, with the technical aspects of low frequency performance. I have RIC aids and my Mum didn’t even notice them. My colleagues didn’t realise for at least a week until someone saw me change the battery. i was seeing how long it would take for someone to notice if I didn’t say. Not because I wanted to hide them, I was just curious! I have coloured tube twists on now and a lot of my patients ask if their hearing aids will interfere with the test or vice versa, so I doubt they’ve noticed mine!
I have been wearing iic HA for a few months and it has been a life changing event for me. No one knows I have a hearing loss which is the way I want it. Working in a young environment (software engineer) it is difficult enough to not be viewed as the grandfather of the team when many of my colleagues are the age of my children.
Being bald, a RIC HA would stand out and get attention that I don’t want.
I love my IICs
I know what you mean and I felt that way at first too. The thing is, the hearing aids at so small now, and people are really just interested in themselves, so no one really notices the RIC style. When I get a haircut, and I have short hair, I have to stop them and take them out because they don’t notice them, and they are looking at my head!
One time, I told a person I work with I couldn’t hear the Ring tone I was trying. He said, you have problems hearing. I said yes, that’s why I wear hearing aids. He said, you wear hearing aids?
That being said, if an IIC would work for me I would probably go for it. You do give up some features but no problems with glasses, hats, helmets, etc.
Did the audiologist recommend against IICs?
I would estimate that in the cases where I recommend against IICs and the patient wants to try them anyway, they return them 95% of the time because of own voice tolerance issues.
I haven’t generally found physical comfort to be an issue, however.
People, even those that wear hearing aids, are usually surprised when I say that I wear hearing aids. Mine are Phonak RICs with the module over the ear. I use the flexible, closed domes and they are very comfortable. I often forget that they’re in when I hop in the shower, or go into the pool. I literally have to put my fingers up to my ears to see whether or not I have put them on. Even if they were noticeable, the improved performance and features make the RICs a no-brainer for me.
I have a RIC style aid, and I think what I have been most self conscious of is using a smart phone to control it. I have always been critical of those who use a smart phone in public places in general, and downright disgusted with those who will use it at a restaurant table with other people. It conveys the message that one is more interested in a smart phone conversation than those sitting next to you, – possibly your wife or date. I find it amazing how many young couples I see together in a restaurant that never say a word to each other, but just stay immersed in their smart phone for the whole meal.
As a result I do my best to hide the fact I have a smart phone, and when I do need to use it to adjust my aids, I do it as quickly and discreetly as possible. I could care less if someone sees my hearing aids, and I suspect most do not. But, it does bother me to have others notice I have a smart phone…
My brother just received his new aids…Starkey RIC and they stick out far enough he still has problems with motorcycle helmut, especially taking it off. Unless he is super careful and goes very slow his helmut will knock the aids (one or both) out of his ears. They seem to be larger than other RIC’s?
Is there a smaller RIC (audi sez canels too small for IIC) than the Starky?
Which Starkey aids are you talking about?
My wife just told me this evening that the KS9 aids a more comfortable than the Starkey 2400 Livio aids she trialed for a few months. The Livio aids pushed her ears out causing some discomfort. The KS9 aids are thinner and fit behind her ear better.
These are ll RIC aids.
I don’t know what hair styles other commenters have, but everyone that has met me knows that I have RIC hearing aids.
My haircut is shorter on the sides.
which RIC hearing aid do you have Bobby? does the attention bother you?
There are lots of in-the-ear options, not just IIC. I think RIC probably will get you more bang for the buck, feature-wise, but I chose an in-the-ear format so that I could hold my phone to my ear (Bluetooth and I don’t seem to get along all that well) and I also so I could enjoy my headphones. My back-up aids are RICs with soft domes and I must say they are a lot easier on the ear physically.
I have ITE half shell aids that have full connectivity. I find them comfortable, and sound better to me that the RITe aids I have had in the past.
Raudrive: Not sure which Starkey model but they are RIC not behind the ear. Don’t think VA has KS9 and if behind the ear then no good for him anyway. Trying to get him to ask to try the Oticons.
The KS9 aids are basically the Phonak Audeo M90 Marvel RIC aids.
The Oticon aids are also very fine aids.
I recommend removing hearing aids when riding a motorcycle and replacing them with earplugs to maintain what hearing you have left. Riding a motorcycle at any significant speed without earplugs is pretty much a guarantee of hearing damage. And a properly fitting helmet should be tight enough that getting one on and off with a RIC or BTE aid should be nearly impossible. (Most helmets do have ear pockets that should work fine once on but when I tried putting on my helmet with my own RITE aids I was never successful and just assumed if I managed it I would end up losing them when removing the helmet.
I wear ITE hearing aids while riding my bike, but I mute my aids while riding. And my aids act like ear plugs.