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Has trouble hearing low sounds and diagnosed otoscelrosis. Suggest kind of hearing aids?

Aug 2013
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Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 1025 Questions

My husband has trouble hearing low sounds and he has been diagnosed with otoscelrosis.
The doctor here in Singapore suggested trying on hearing aids before thinking about undergoing stapedotomy as the surgery can have unwanted side effects.

I want to know what type of hearing aids are suitable for his condition. I will attach his test results to the query.
He is also a bit conscious to wear hearing aids to work. For this reason, I want to know if he can wear CIC type aids. How effective can CIC type aids be for his hearing loss?
Posted Mon, 14 Oct 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Any hearing aid is fine

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

I am Dr Sriram Nathan an ENT consultant and I shall try to help you out with your problem.

At the offset let me assure you that the problem which your husband is facing is common and very much treatable.

In otosclerosis, a small ear bone called the stapes gets fixed and thats why you get hearing loss. The only recommended treatment for this is hearing aid and surgery. Some medication like sodium flouride are also been tried but it is not very useful in many cases.

I must first impress upon you that after looking at your husbands audiometry I would in my experience always recommend surgery as his air bone gap is very good and In our experience surgery will give excellent results as far as hearing improvement is concerned and the results are instantaneous.
It is a fairly simple surgery with minimal blood loss and can be performed under local anesthesia with minimal post operative recovery period. You need to just be a little careful after the surgery such as avoid head bath for three weeks and avoid lifting heavy weights.

Having mentioned the above there is always a small chance of surgery not being successful but that is rare.

Now coming to use of hearing aid as such which is always an option even in the rare circumstance when the surgery fails.

For the type of hearing loss which your husband has which is not much he will definitely benefit from most of the commonly available hearing aid. I would of course suggest you to go for a hearing aid which is digital and having at least two channel though four or six will be even better. Your hearing aid technician or audiologist will know of these.

The CIC or completely in the canal aid can also be worn by him without any problem though he should follow the instructions of the audiologist properly on the proper usage of the hearing aid.

Before all this you must remember that the type and model of hearing aid which he can use depends on a test called the HEARING AID TRIAL. This is the definite method which can finally tell you which aid and also if CIC is suitable for your husband or not.

Remember that in the initial phase you need to do many adjustments in consultation with your audiologist so that you can have the best outcome from using the hearing aid. So make sure the device you buy is properly serviced and is complemented by a trained audiologist and hearing aid technician with whom you can follow up regularly.

Also remember that newer hearing aids offer features such as blue tooth reception and swipe controls. Make sure you ask for these if you are interested.

If you need any help regarding hearing aids or surgery you can contact me

Hope your doubts are clear and I will be more than happy to help you out if you have any more

take care


Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Has trouble hearing low sounds and diagnosed otoscelrosis. Suggest kind of hearing aids? 1 hour later
Thank you so much Doctor. We will definitely consider surgery down the line because right now he cannot make up his mind for undergoing the surgery. So we thought we might as well try the aids for a while.

Can you please let me know the best CIC aids currently available in the market.

As far as I can understand by reading through articles online, the cons for CIC are low battery life and may not support severe hearing loss. I'm assuming my husband's is a moderate loss(correct me) currently. Are there any other cons for CIC such that we have to consider something like RIC?
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
CICs are good hearing aids

Detailed Answer:
Hello again and welcome back!,

I have good experience with CIC of the ones made by Siemens and Starky. Both these are very good and have great service centers all over the world.

CIC will help your husband as his hearing loss is not very severe and as you rightly opined they do not help severe loss.

Some pros and cons for your consideration in CIC hearing aids:
close to the drum
quite invisible
Good for mild to moderate hearing loss
good cosmetic look

low battery as the battery is small (you can consult the technician on how to get maximum battery life though)
wax may cause block
cannot be used if there is ear discharge or any other infection
cannot be used for severe loss

Receiver in canal or RIC aids are not cosmetically viable and thats the only major disadvantage when you compare them to CIC

However you must realize that the final decision on which hearing aid to be used can only be done after HEARING AID TRIAL when all these considerations are put in note.

hope your doubts are clearer


Dr Sriram Nathan

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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