Originally Posted by Research
Hearing aid fittings that do not plug the earcanal cannot provide useful amplification in the low frequencies. This is an acoustic fact.
Assuming that the audiometric information in the first post is the husband's hearing loss, he will require a hearing aid that plugs the ear. Both the CIC and an appropriately fit BTE would plug the ear in a similar manner.
I can't believe how wrong that entire post is.
First, you do not have to completely plug the ear canal to have any useful low frequency amplification. Yes, vent sizes will alter the amount of low frequency amplification, but even with large vents on an ITE you can get plenty of low frequency gain. The only time it's difficult to get any low frequency gain is in a completely open fitting, like the kind used in RIC's, and you don't use those on people that need low frequency gain without using a tip that occludes more
of the canal (note I didn't say all the canal - they still have some venting in them unless you are using power domes). I can show you on my Real-ear equipment all the hearing aid fittings I've done with large ITE vents and still achieved plenty of Low frequency gain, or even some RIC fits with a closed dome (has 2 small vents in it) and had more than enough low frequency amplificaion. I'd like to know what you use as your "acoustic facts".
Second, A CIC typically has at least
a pressure vent, often times larger given the type of hearing loss and space limitations/allowances of the ear canal. And a BTE can be configured in a wide variety of ways depending on style of earmold & acoustic modifications to not have the ear canal plugged. Even in profound losses there is typically a pressure vent in the earmold so that the patient doesn't feel completely plugged up. With the hearing loss listed by the OP, and if the patient decides to get the Starkey product, with the reputation Starkey has for feedback control they will most likely be able to utilize a larger vent than some other manufacturers can resulting in less occlusion. Starkey really does do an excellent job of feedback control. This coming from the hard-core Phonak girl.
Given the hearing loss in the better ear I would suspect with an ITE (or CIC) he could wear up to a medium sized vent and probably a small or pressure vent in the poorer ear as long as there was enough room in the canal to accomodate larger than a small sized vent. There is no need to have " a hearing aid that plugs the ear" as you stated.