Sensorineural hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process. But, when people associate hearing loss with aging in a negative way, it can keep them from seeking assistance for hearing problems. It shouldn’t be this way. Modern hearing aids are more powerful and smaller than ever before. If you are worried that wearing hearing aids will make you look old, take heart. The newest styles are incredibly discreet. People won’t notice your hearings aids, but you’ll hear all the compliments you receive.

Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids

These hearing aids are well suited for mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss. They are virtually undetectable. As indicated by the name, the hearing aid fits completely in the ear canal. The only visible part of the device is a small “handle” used to remove the device.

In addition to being barely visible, they provide other benefits. Because the entire hearing aid is in the ear canal, you don’t get annoying background noise from wind. The deep fit in the canal helps the outer portion of your ear (pinna) still function as a sound location detector. That means it is easier to determine the source of a sound when wearing this style hearing aid. Another benefit of the deep fit is the amount of volume required to hear. With a CIC hearing aid, the volume can be set to a lower level.

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

Only a small portion of the hearing aid is visible with this style. It fits almost entirely in the ear canal. It is well suited for mild-to-mildly severe hearing loss. If your ear is the wrong shape for a CIC model, this model may work for you. Like all ITC styles, these are custom made for you. Different skin tones are available to further camouflage the device. It provides more amplification than the CIC style, but is not recommended if you produce lots of earwax or have conditions that cause fluid to drain from your ears.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

ITE hearing aids are the largest of the hearing aids that fit in the canal or ear. The larger size allows them to accommodate larger batteries. Bigger batteries provide more power. More power makes them suitable for moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Because they are a bit larger, they are easier to insert and remove; the larger batteries are easier to handle too. These are important considerations if you have dexterity issues.

Talk to your audiologist

If you have hearing loss, don’t let vanity get in the way of experiencing the world around you. Talk to the audiologist about your options for hearing aids that are barely visible. Most of today’s hearing aids are small and barely noticeable. They are powerful enough to help you hear conversations, participate in discussions and enjoy music. Hearing aids are the perfect fashion accessory for your life.