Almost half the hearing aids sold in the United States in 2013 were RIC/RITE models and their popularity looks set to increase. In general, hearing aid users prefer these types of hearing aids because of their discreet appearance, comfort and exceptional sound.
However, despite these advantages, some problems persist; in particular lateral migration - where the receiver moves or falls out of the ear canal; and what is known as the cosmetic gap – the space between the earwire and the side of the user’s head.
This study questioned 284 hearing care professionals to determine the prevalence of these particular problems. It then looked to examine the extent to which the new Widex wire and receiver ear-tip solution (EASYWEAR) could help improve both lateral migration and the cosmetic gap.
The number of migrations experienced by subjects (hearing aid users) using EASYWEAR decreased from 15 times to only 2 times over a three day period. Migration decreased on average from 5 times a day to less than once a day. On a scale of 0 to 10, hearing aid users rated EASYWEAR 8.7 in terms of appearance.
On a scale of 1 to 10, hearing care professionals rated EASYWEAR 9.1 in terms of appearance. They rated other RIC solutions at 6.3 in terms of appearance.
On a scale of 1 to 10, hearing aid users rated EASYWEAR 8.7 in terms of lateral migration. They rated other RIC solutions at only 6.0 in terms of lateral migration.
According to the study, 30 percent of hearing aid users experience a problem with lateral migration, cosmetic gaps or both.
When both hearing care professionals and hearing aid users tested EASYWEAR against existing Widex solutions and other current industry-leading solutions, the results revealed a clear preference for EASYWEAR in terms of physical fit, stability, lateral migration, itching and appearance.
The bars below represent standard error. All differences between the Easywear versus either the standard Widex RIC or the non-Widex RIC, with the exception of Appearance are statistically significant (p<0.05).