The completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid style is one of the smaller hearing devices available. The body of the hearing aid fits entirely inside your ear canal, making it almost invisible. The outside shell comes with a variety of end colours to blend with different skin tones. The hearing aid can only be seen when you look into the ear canal, making this style ideal for those who are concerned about the cosmetics of a hearing device. The shell of the CIC, the part that goes into the ear canal – is either red or blue. As with all audio equipment, red is for right and blue is for left. For the person wearing CICs, this helps to determine which CIC goes into which ear.
The CIC hearing aid produces a natural sound profile, using the advantage of the resonances of the ear profile to conduct its natural function. The users voice will sound more natural to themselves in comparison to styles with a microphone outside of the ear canal. This same placement also reduces wind noise distractions and helps to detect where sound is coming from because the sound funnels through the ear canal.
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Other Hearing Device Styles to Explore
IIC: Invisible In Canal
Suitable for users with a mild to moderate hearing loss, who are looking for the ultimate discreet hearing solution.
BTE: Behind The Ear
Simple to maintain, easy to adjust, the BTE hearing aids supply significant power, long battery life and a variety of features.
RIC: Receiver In Canal
Suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. Worn behind the ear, the receiver sits directly in the ear canal.
Pros and Cons
The benefit of the small size also presents some draw backs, the CIC cannot house a large amplifier to provide lots of power. This is why the CIC is best suited to those with a mild to moderate degree of hearing loss. There is very little “real estate” to house additional technology in its tiny space. For example, telecoils (aka T-coils: which use a magnetic field to support hearing on the telephone), are often not included in CICs. Small switches to change programs on the hearing aids are also not available. Another thing to note is that good manual dexterity is required to handle the CIC. There is only a tiny wire or “fishing line” wire used to assist in removing and inserting the device, which requires good manual dexterity to do on your own. The small batteries offer a shortened life span increasing the frequency of replacement
The device is usually custom made to fit your ears comfortably, however not all ear shapes can accommodate this style, your hearing health professional will be able to advise if you are a good candidate during a consultation.