Open ear hearing aids,also known as open-fit,are a non specific typeof listening instrument designed to prevent occlusion, one of the most noted andannoying drawbacks to wearing hearing aids.
If you hold the palms ofyour hands against your ears, youll experiencethe booming, unnatural and ultimately disruptive sound quality that results from cutting off the natural flow of air into your ear canal.
This is similar to theocclusion many experiences with some listening instruments. When a devices earbud is insertedinto your ear, its possible to hear echos, or a tunneling sensation as well as poor sound quality of your own voice.
However, many stylesof hearing aids keep the ear canal slightly open to allow natural soundand air stream into your canal and avoid the plugged up feel of occlusion.
It is more than the style of the device that makes it an open earhearing aid as they also come in ITE, or in the ear, and other form factors.
From the onset, manufacturers design the in-ear portions ofthe device to keep part of the ear unblocked.This is more a function of the shape of the device rather than its electronic features.
Relatively new, open-fit devices have only been around since 2005, though the styles superior features are will likely have anindustry-wide effect, makingopen ear hearing aids the de facto design for listening instruments.