Once You Saw Them, Now You Dont: CIC Hearing Aids Listening devices have come a long way before appearing as state of the art CIC hearing aids. Hearing loss is as common to the human experience as old age and throughout the ages, people have either accepted an increasingly quieter sounding existence or used the tech of the day to hear better. Back in the 1600s, ear trumpets were employed to help men and women get better sound. Often, you'll see these long, funnel shaped tools used by elderly folks in a Victorian-era films, probably as a joke. By today's standards, ear trumpets do seem comical but at the time, they were important hearing instruments. The horn, typically made of sheet iron or another malleable material, required the user to hold one ear near the smaller end of the funnel to hear sound waves, which naturally gather inside the tube. Surprisingly, these passive tools were made into the 1960s, by which time, modern listening devices became the clear successor. Like CIC hearing aids, modern devices are active, employing audio circuitry to produce better sound. It began with body worn aids, which started to pop up in the middle of the 20th century. These resembled a personal music player, with a device the size of a deck of playing cards worn in the pocket or clipped to a belt. The case attached to a long wire and earbud inserted into the ear.
Eventually, these were replaced by BTE hearing aids, which were a marvel for the industry. Now however, even the newest behind the ear devices appear to be oversized and bulky next to a completely in canal listening instrument. It's inserted deeper into the ear than any other aid and must be installed by an audiologist for safety. Completely in canal devices are best for sufferers with moderate to mild hearing loss due to their smaller size but if you're a good candidate, it offers a substantial benefit: privacy. It's virtually impossible to tell that someone is wearing a CIC hearing aid, which is a huge draw for many.
REFERENCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ear_trumpet http://www.rle.mit.edu/media/pr142/23_Greenberg.pdf
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