Open fit hearing aids
Open fit hearing aids are similar in style to BTE aids in that a shell sits above your ear and a wire travels down from there into your ear canal – but that’s where the similarities end. Open Fit BTEs are much newer technology than traditional BTEs – the shell above the ear is much smaller and the whole aid is lighter.
The open in the name comes from the fact that the earpiece does not fit tightly into your ear canal – as is the case with traditional BTEs, CIC, ITC and ITE models. The earpiece of an open fit hearing aid is a small, soft rubber or silicone cap, which is much more comfortable than the tightly fitting earpieces of BTEs, CICs, etc. The open fitting earpiece helps to reduce the occlusion effect – but can be more susceptible to feedback.
The fitting time for open fit hearing aids will be shorter than other models because the audiologist/aid vendor will not have to take impressions of your ears to create the moulds. It is possible that you could visit an audiologist and walk away with a trial pair of open fits in a single visit whereas you would have to wait a week or more for other models to be delivered from the manufacturer to fit your ear shape.
This type of aid is normally suitable for people with mild or moderate hearing loss.