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 use
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
(where the aid ‘blocks up’ the ear) − but can be more susceptible
The fitting time for open fit hearing aids will be shorter than other
models because the audiologist 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.