Hearing aids are a personal matter


I was asked how can I wear ITE hearing aids, and I answered by asking how can you wear those hearing aids behind your ears.
I have worn ITE hearing aids for every pair of aids I have had but one pair. They were miniRite hearing aids with domes. I wore them 4 years and never got use to them. I always felt like I was going to lose them and I hated the fact they bounced up and down on my ear when I walked, rode my bicycle, and did my workouts. Then they started having problems with the least amount of sweating that I did and believe me I sweat a lot. It got where I had to remove my hearing aids to go for my walks, that is not an idea thing to have to do seeing I needed them to hear what was around. I always felt like the domes were something crawling around in my ears even with wearing the sport locks. Yes, I did like the natural hearing I could get with the domes, but I could not take the feedback I was getting. And I allowed my Audi at that time to tell me molds were not an option for my hearing needs. That will never happen again. When it was time for new hearing aids I told my Audi that I wanted to go back to ITE hearing aids and she looked puzzled. I told her I just do not like the hearing aids over my ears, they bounce around, they click against my glasses and make strange noises. They are just not comfortable to me. Also, I love wearing my over the ear headphones when listening to music and you cannot easily do that with BTE hearing aids.
What I love about the ITE aids? First if the molds are done correctly they are extremely comfortable. Second I do not worry about sweating they are less likely to stop working. Third I hear things closer to what they sound like when someone has natural hearing. And I don’t care of anyone knows I wear hearing aids and I am normally the ones that says that I wear hearing aids and I may not hear everything being said.
The aids I have now after about 6 months of once a month adjustments never need to be bothered with while wearing them. I don’t need to change programs or even adjust the volume. I do my walks then while I am showering my hearing aids go in the dryer and drys out, it takes only 30 to do the dry cycle. Of course I have to deal with disposable batteries, but that isn’t an issue for me I carry extra batteries in my billfold. But most of the time now I know when my batteries are going to die and the night before I change them so I do not worry about them the next day. Some of you may say that is wasteful, but I say it is planning so I don’t have to even think about them.
I will finish with this statement: Hearing aids is a personal thing, use what works for you don’t allow anyone else make the decision for you other than maybe your Audi, but then make sure your Audi understands your likes, dislikes, and needs. Example: I know my hearing is getting worse and at some point I will have to have true BTE hearing aids, I am preparing myself for that time, but I will put it off as long as I can.




believe it or not, in 13 years of fitting RIC devices, I have had 4 people actually lose them just falling off of their ears. Usually when they get lost, it is because the user puts them down where they ought not be, and the dog chews them up, or they go down the heater vent, or the side of the recliner, and one lady actually had hers carried off by a bird while she was working in he flower beds in front of her house. She left them on the porch rail, and I guess the silver color was appealing to the felonious bird.

When it comes to performance, there are some distinct advantages to the RIC devices. Primarily, we can use more high frequency gain without the risk of feedback because the mic and receiver are so far separated from each other. When the feedback management routine is run in hearing aids, the software is trying to figure out how much gain can be applied without getting into feedback, and typically that is lower in an ITE than it is a RIC.

But as you say, it is a personal matter, and whatever makes you happy and works well is what you should have.

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Yes it is a matter of personal taste, also I believe it is due to the fact that my first two pairs of aids were ITE hearing aids. My first was what was chosen for me and not my choice. The secon was because I chose ITE. The miniRite aids I had third was by request of my Audi that I had come to trust. At first they were great, then I started to have the issues with moisture, and also keeping them in place. And I am sure at some point I will have to go back to BTE hearing aids, and I am preparing myself for that point.



“She left them on the porch rail, and I guess the silver color was appealing to the felonious bird.”

Bet it was a crow… ;O)



I’ve had BTE and ITE; no issues with either regarding style / shape. I’ve always had custom molds. My current aids are RIC–which resemble Behind The Ear. They have slim-tip acrylic molds, so they might be semi-custom. However, I am hesitant to try CIC. I just don’t like the idea of something that far down in my ear. For a similar reason I do not like the idea of contact lenses. I did–temporarily–lose one of my ITEs. I had taken it out to scratch inside my right ear while I was outside. I dropped the flesh toned hearing aid amongst sand and gravel; it blended right in. It took an hour or so of searching on hands and knees before I spotted the tiny green ring of the wax shield. That same pair of HAs went through the washer and dryer once because I forgot I had them in my pocket. They must’ve been made by TIMEX 'cause they came out in one piece and worked like a charm!



I finally gave up on mCIC and CIC and went to RIC a couple years ago. To me the sound quality and my ability to hear in noise was much better, likely due to the dual microphone vs single.

That being said, I intensely miss my mCIC when I am at the gym, beach, anything active outdoors basically. Sweat dripping off my hair straight into a microphone, hair rustling against a microphone, glasses clinking against a microphone - all irritating as hell. No more ability to lay on my side, which my mCIC allowed, but this amazing RIC doesn’t without feedback.

It’s unfortunate, but I am glad teh technology exists to allow me to hear fairly well.



My half shells have dual mics, and I believe that due to the locations of the mics I hear better and have less noise issues.



I never cared for half shells. Seemed like the worst of both worlds, although I did wear them in the 80’s through until CIC got powerful enough.



I love them they are very comfortable and I just put them in in the morning and for get them. They have full Bluetooth connectivity, and I haven’t had these great ability to hear with any aids in the past. I personally don’t care if people see them or not.

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Have you tried a biCros system within the past 2-3 years? They have really come a long way. It will be especially beneficial if you are using a mold on the L ear.



I wear custom ITE OPN1s. Why would I need what ever you are talking about



I looked at your audiogram. I saw your note “Right Ear not serviceable for speech”. A biCros system will collect speech from your Right side and send it into your good ear. It can also provide amplification into the Right side for sound awareness & localization. Some patients find this extremely useful and it is the first line of treatment in your case.



That was put there by a VA auditor that tested my hearing, for VA disability. The person didn’t do the test correctly. My Audi has retested me and while I only have 30% word recognition with out my aid, I have 90% word recognition with my aid. My Audi has told me to just leave it as she has it due to my tinnitus issues at times. The day she tested me I had a very bad day with my tinnitus and the retest with my Audi my tinnitus was at about it’s normal level. So yes I do have good days and bad days. But as long as I wear my aids all the time I don’t notice my tinnitus as bad.

Also it should be noted that with these aids my word recognition is the best it has been in years.

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I see, sorry for the confusion. Glad to hear you’re doing so well!



I actually lost one… in my own car, of all places, but never did find it. I believe it bounced into a gap in the car carpeting and disappeared into the body under the carpet. I’m 99% sure it did not go out the door, because I recognized the loss immediately and stopped and searched thoroughly inside and outside the car. I had a number of other close calls where one fell off my ear, but I was fortunate enough to realize it right away and find it, so those don’t count as actual losses.

I now use EarGear (www.gearforears.com) which I highly recommend for others concerned about hearing aid loss (or moisture, or dust). I live on the Outer Banks of NC and am on the beach frequently, so all three of these are real concerns. Corded EarGears, or eyeglass models of EarGear for eyeglass wearers, don’t provide absolute protection but improve your odds considerably against loss. Lose a beige hearing aid in the sand and not realize it immediately, and you’re unlikely to get it back. For a while before learning about EarGear, I always took my hearing aids off before going on the beach, but this presents other problems. (I still wouldn’t take hearing aids on the beach if I was going swimming, even leaving them in my sneakers.)

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Mowing lawn; a branch hit my RIC aid. It took me & my wife an hour to find it. A couple months later while working under the car, it fell out after hitting something & the creeper rolled over it. CICs for me now. My wife calls me “a bull in a china store” in everything I do!

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Your more lucky than me! I was 4 weeks into trialling Phonaks M 50 R and was about to mow the lawn. I thought. Should I take the HAs off? No, I thought. I will see if the noise cancelling limits the noise of the (electric) mower.

While backing the mower under a tree, a branch flipped the side of my head. By this time I had completely forgotten I was wearing the HAs. An hour after completing the lawn mowing I put my hand to my right ear. Whoops! no HA !It was dusk by then and a frantic torch-light search under the tree revealed one small piece of mangled metal and a few shards of plastic. Luckily I had organised insurance cover.

What most upset me me was that almost with out exception, everyone, including my Audi and the insurance claims clerk laughed when I related my sad story.