Like Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC) hearing aids, CICs are sculptured to fit entirely inside your ear canal and have a small, clear cord which enables you to remove them. Each device is custom-made and depending on the size and shape of your ear canal, can be very discrete. In terms of performance, they share many of the same advantages and shortcomings of IICs, with one notable difference – due to their slightly larger size, CICs provide more power, options and features.
Just like their ‘invisible’ cousins, CICs don’t obscure the outer ear in any way, which preserves the natural sound quality of your ears and helps you pinpoint the direction from which sounds are coming. They also tend to work well on the telephone and, while you may have heard about issues with the occlusion effect (which can be experienced as reverberation of your own voice), our audiologists can all but eliminate this issue with correct positioning.
Where CICs differ from IICs is that thanks to their larger size, it is possible to fit a more powerful amplifier into them. This means they can be used to treat much more severe hearing difficulties. We can also fit wireless modules and telecoils into CICs, enabling you to use loop systems or connect to mobile phones and other technological devices, although this will make the device slightly larger.
It is still the case that not everyone can have a CIC due to the size of their ear canal, although this shortcoming is less common than with a smaller IIC. Likewise, CICs are not suited for people with poor dexterity or sight due to their size. And their small size can lead to problems with the device working free when talking or chewing. They also require careful maintenance as both the microphone ports and receiver tube are liable to blocking due to their positioning deep in the ear canal.
While CICs work well in the most common environments, they are not the best type of product for hearing in more difficult listening situation like a busy café. This is because they have a single omni-directional microphone that picks up sounds from all directions as opposed to larger devices that have the ability to reduce background noise while ‘zooming in’ on speech.
If you would like to book an appointment, ask us a question or find out which clinic is closest to you, please get in touch.