The INVISIBLE In the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aid | Phonak Virto B Titanium Hearing Aid

By: Dr Cliff Olson
August 2, 2019
Video Transcript

Even though the stigma surrounding the use of hearing aids is starting to fade into history, hearing aid manufacturers continue to produce smaller and smaller hearing aids to meet patient demands.   Truth be told, the miniaturization of hearing aids is due to more than just their ability to be nearly invisible and more discrete.  

A hearing aid that can sit deep inside of an ear canal also provides a whole bunch of other benefits including:  Less interference with Hats & Sunglasses, less hearing of your hair brushing on the microphones behind your ear, less perception of wind noise due to the protection provided by your pinna and ear canal, and the natural shielding of some background noise provided by the pinna effect.  The smallest version of these hearing aids is called the Invisible-In-Canal otherwise known as IIC.  These devices fit comfortably, deep inside of your ear canal, so they are never seen, and provide you all the benefits that I mentioned before.  Phonak has one of the best IIC hearing aids thanks to the use of Titanium.

Originally discovered in 1791, Titanium is extremely strong and lightweight, and in 2016, Phonak started making their Virto B-Titanium Hearing Aids out of this metal.  Traditionally made out of Acrylic, Titanium is 15 times stronger than Acrylic.  Which means that Phonak can make a Titanium hearing aid shell that is 50% thinner than an Acrylic shell.  Combine this thinner shell with 60% smaller electronic components and you have a hearing aid that is 26% smaller than it's Acrylic counterpart.

This allows Phonak to create a Power version of their Virto B-Titanium hearing aid as well, that can fit more severe hearing losses.These devices are super small and fit invisibly into my ear canal.  Even the Power version looks almost exactly the same as it's standard power counterpart.  No wonder I have patients that love these devices.  According to Phonak, the use of Titanium has increased successful IIC fit rates by 4%.  Increasing from 94% with Acrylic to 98% with Titanium.  This means that nearly everyone that wants an invisible hearing aid is a candidate for this style of device.

So whether you have tiny ear canals, or a more severe hearing loss, you can still receive the benefits of Hearing Aids that fit entirely inside of your ears.  When it comes to hearing aids, it doesn't get much smaller than an Invisible In the Canal device.  Especially when that devices is made out of Titanium.

Dr. Cliff's Thoughts
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