ITE aids

This is sometimes tricky to set up and if hearing impairment or finances preclude CICs, some people even find they prefer BTE aids. Or to remove their hearing aids when using a stethoscope. Others work “one in, one out” [1].

Adapted earpieces such as Steth-O-Mates or custom ear moulds can be used with a normal stethoscope or with an electronic stethoscope if you need amplification at low frequencies. Even these are sometimes uncomfortable, pressing on the hearing aids, so headphones are another good option. But ITEs can be prone to feedback with any of these options and sometimes it’s difficult getting an adequately sound-proof seal over the aids.

Other information:

  • Have you read the essential safety information: “limitations of hearing aids and implants?”
  • Consider funding
  • Arrange a trial period
  • And see how your audiogram matches up to heart and lung sounds to find out whether you need amplification or not.
  • If the spring in other stethoscope arms is so strong you find it uncomfortable, try the Thinklabs ds32a+ which has adjustable arms. I haven’t handled one myself yet so do let me know if you try this and how you get on. Thanks.
  • Don’t forget, hearing aids don’t usually reproduce the low frequencies well. So if you’re using earpieces, custom moulds or headphones over hearing aids you also need vents in your ear moulds or open fitting.
  • Certain electronic stethoscopes can link to hearing aids using accessories such as the T switch, direct audio input (DAI) cables or even FM or Bluetooth if your hearing aids have these facilities. However it is better to use earpieces or headphones if possible to avoid the problem of poor low frequency reproduction.

Which stethoscope? Comparison chart.

[1] Don’t leave the other earpiece dangling. Put it in your ear, wear it occluded against your neck or block it with something else. That prevents problems with background noise and attenuation from the free earpiece.

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