Why Wear a RIC? (September 11, 2013)
For many years hearing aids were strictly custom fit to the individual ear canal. While there are still many advantages to a custom fit, people often complained that the instruments never felt natural to them. They still felt stopped up, were uncomfortable with the sound of their own voice, and often felt that they were hearing echoes or noises that interfered with speech understanding. As a result many people who would have benefited from wearing hearing aids simply refused to wear them, sometimes purchasing multiple sets of instruments that would end up unused in a drawer!
This all began to change with the Open Ear or Open Fit technology. The fundamental idea behind these new instruments is to take most of the electronics out of the ear canal, leaving it open so that natural hearing is not impeded in any way. There is only a slim wire that slips into the ear canal so that the speaker can broadcast the sounds that need to be amplified. The latest iteration of open fittings is called Receiver-In-Canal or RIC technology. These new devices are smaller than ever, but actually have more gain and power available than older standard hearing aids. We have a variety of devices in all colors and price levels, with even the most basic devices offering superior digital processing of speech. The advantages of the RIC are most appreciated with speech in noise understanding, the sound of your own voice, listening to music, and sheer physical comfort. Most of our RIC users tell us that after just a few hours they often forget they are wearing a hearing aid! Another advantage of RIC technology is that it can be demonstrated in our offices with just a few minutes of preparation, and can be worn out of the office on the first fitting. So if you have ever wondered “Why would I wear a RIC?” please ask your Hearing Instrument Specialist for a free demonstration in our offices today!