Tagged: digital hearing aid

Want an Invisible hearing aid? We’ve got one!

July 18, 2016

If you’ve been doing any sort of research on hearing aids, you’re bound to have come across the lnSound Lyric extended-wear hearing aid. This little technology marvel stays in the ear canal for up to 4 months. It’s gotten rave reviews from audiologists and from wearer’s alike and has been featured on TV shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors. But Lyric isn’t for everyone. In fact, research says that about 43% of those who could wear the Lyric (they’re hearing loss is appropriate, they’ve never had chemotherapy or radiation treatment to their head or neck, they aren’t diabetic, the ear canal is large enough) end up not being compatible with Lyric for some reason. Often, the reason is just the fact that the ear canal won’t accept it. So, what do you do if your ear isn’t right for Lyric or your budget won’t allow for it (subscriptions range from $3200 to $3600 a year)? There is a new alternative called the Invisible In The Canal (IIC) hearing aid. If you’re looking for small and Lyric isn’t an option, the IIC may be your answer.

The Starkey SoundLens is the first Invisible in-the-canal hearing aid that can be removed daily by the wearer. The size and invisibility may be the largest consideration for the majority of its wearers, but the SoundLens also offers exceptional sound quality. Using Starkey’s Voice IQ technology, the SoundLens improves hearing in the presence of background noise. It also incorporates Starkey’s industry-leading feedback management system while digital programming allows the instrument to be fully tailored to your listening needs
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The SoundLens is the ideal instrument for the active individual who requires a discreet hearing aid. Its sound quality and technology features are best-in-class and the size make it an ideal choice for those looking for a discreet alternative to the typical hearing aid. There are some drawbacks to the SoundLens to consider: because of its size, dexterity is a consideration. It also uses a small battery, which necessitates changing of the battery often. Starkey reports a typical battery life of 5 to 7 days with a 16-hour per-day wear time. Finally, the SoundLens won’t work for every ear. Starkey reports that roughly 60% of people with hearing loss can be fit with the SoundLens. The most common issue is size of the ear canal but it also works best for the mild to moderate hearing loss. Given these few drawbacks, the Starkey SoundLens is a great alternative for those who are looking for an invisible everyday-wear hearing aid.

Finding the Best Hearing Aid for You

November 16, 2015

Happy coupleWhen you are trying to find the best hearing aid, there are many things to consider. It’s not uncommon to feel unsure about which manufacturer or which features will be best for your hearing loss and your everyday listening situations. The many choices that manufacturers now offer in their hearing aids can make it even more confusing. If you are questioning what to purchase, you aren’t alone. Take the time to look at hearing aid reviews, ask someone you trust what their experience has been and most importantly, find a provider you trust.

There are a lot of features that are important, but any top-quality hearing aid should include:

• 100% digital sound processing for excellent sound quality
• Feedback suppression to decrease the annoying whistling sound hearing aids sometimes make when too close to another object.
• Adjustable channels – the more channels, the more adjustable
• Dual microphones plus active noise reduction – the best improvement in hearing in noise occurs when the hearing aid offers both of these features.
• Connectivity – Bluetooth compatibility and wireless connectivity are becoming more common and allow for connecting to external listening devices such as TV and MP3 players.
• Moisture protection – the number one cause of hearing aid repair is wax and moisture on the microphone or receiver (speaker). Moisture protection systems ensure longevity of the hearing aid.

Manufacturer Websites – a good source of information
When you are considering hearing aids, reviews can help you decide which is right for you. However, be cautious and find reputable reviews that will give you objective information. Look for hearing aid reviews that provide comprehensive information from a reliable source. Manufacturer websites are generally consumer-friendly and can be a good source for information gathering. You’ll also find blogs and consumer reviews online. Be careful with this information as it can often be colored by a hearing aid wearer’s bad experience with the hearing healthcare provider, not with the hearing aid itself.

Ask Those You Trust
What do you do when you want to find a good mechanic, dentist or financial advisor? You begin by asking those you trust who they prefer. Ask for a referral from friends you know who have been successful with hearing aids. Do they like their hearing aids? What do they like about them? What features do the hearing aids have? A more important question might be, did they respect and trust the person they worked with?

Find the Provider That Is Best For You
When you compare hearing aids, the first question really shouldn’t be about features. You also don’t need to begin by focusing on what brand or style of hearing aid you are going to buy. Hearing aids are essentially all the same. So, the key is in finding a highly trained, experienced hearing professional that holds the same high standards you do and is someone you can trust to be well informed about hearing loss and its solutions. Ask your friends and family who they trust and then begin by checking the credentials of the person you are considering. Are they an audiologist? They should be.

Second, it’s important that it is someone you feel very comfortable around and someone you can effectively communicate with. You will need to trust this professional to be able to openly discuss the difficulties you have been experiencing with your hearing loss and the communication difficulties it has created for you. The audiologist you select should have the educational background and the practical experience you need. But, he or she also needs to be a good communicator and a great listener, capable of translating your experiences into a technical solution to resolve important communication issues. Once you’ve had your consultation with a provider, ask yourself these questions: Was the exam thorough? Did the provider answer your questions? Did he or she listen? Do you feel you can trust him or her? Would you feel comfortable referring your friends to this person? If you can answer yes to these questions, you are on the right track!

Finding the right hearing aid for your listening needs can seem daunting. Take the time to do your homework – check blogs, reviews and manufacturer websites, talk to those you trust and chose a provider you can communicate with effectively. If you invest a little bit of time to investigate your choices before you purchase hearing aids, you’ll find that you feel your hearing aid purchase was money well spent.

Advances in Hearing Aid Technology

October 12, 2015

Are you experiencing hearing loss but just accept it as an “accumulation of birthdays”? Have others told you it’s something you will have to live with because hearing aids won’t help or are too expensive? While it is true that our hearing diminishes as we age, it doesn’t mean we have to stop communicating or change our lifestyle to avoid the difficult listening situations. If you are at an age in life that you plan to reap the benefits of your hard work, don’t let a hearing loss deprive you of that enjoyment. With a simple test and a quick conversation, your Doctor of Audiology can determine the severity of your hearing loss and give you the solutions to put your life back on track, at any age.

The first step in determining the extent of your hearing loss is to schedule a hearing test with an Audiologist. This simple, non-invasive test will help your Audiologist determine if you need amplification (hearing aids) to correct your problem, and if so, the type of hearing aids that will work best for you. New advancements in technology mean you’ll have several types of hearing aids or manufacturers to choose from. Working with your Audiologist, you’ll be able to find the right solution for your hearing loss and your budget. The majority of hearing aids today are fully digital instruments. Many people do not realize there are two types of hearing aids: analog and digital. Until just a few years ago, all hearing aids were analog, but new technology advancements have provided us with digital hearing aids that have far surpassed their predecessor, the analog hearing aid.

Analog Hearing Aids
Analog hearing aids provide better hearing by using a continuous electrical signal to produce sound, much like a microphone and speaker system you might see at a concert or while singing karaoke. These sounds are then amplified and sent into the ear canal, allowing you to hear the sounds around you. Analog hearing aids are not generally less expensive than digital models but have less features and less adjustability. Analog hearing aids look and feel just like digital hearing aids in every way but are limited in what they can provide the listener at a similar price to the newer digital hearing aids. There really isn’t a good reason to purchase an analog hearing aid any longer.

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are increasingly popular on the market now with many different makes and models available. Their popularity has increased in the last few years because of design and size, as well as advantages not seen in the analog hearing aids. Some of these advantages are feedback suppression, noise reduction and wireless connectivity.

Digital hearing aids have eliminated most of the noise generated by the instrument when sound gets trapped or squeezes around the instrument and is then reamplified. We call this noise “feedback.” Feedback can occur with jaw movement or getting too close to an object. Advancements in hearing aid technology have also been able to significantly reduce the background noise that was so annoying to users when out in a crowd. A common complaint of a person with hearing loss is not being able to determine the direction of a sound they hear. With the directional microphone system available in some digital hearing aids this is no longer an issue. Digital hearing aids are now available in extremely small models, making them much less obvious when worn in or behind the ear. Digital hearing aids can be customized to your specific needs, based on your Doctor of Audiology’s evaluation of your hearing loss. Newer technology also allows for Bluetooth connectivity to systems that have an audio output, such as your TV and cell phone.

Exciting new technology advancements have brought us a long way from the first hearing aids, worn over the ear and attached by wire to a box on your chest, to the tiny hearing aids of today. There are choices for every lifestyle and budget. Working alongside your Doctor of Audiology, you will be able to find the instrument that works best for you.

Give us a call today, and let our Audiologists introduce you to the newest, state-of-the-art digital hearing aids.

Want an Invisible Hearing Aid? Try the Phonak Nano

April 27, 2015

After years of asking for a smaller, more discreet hearing aid, hearing aid manufacturers are finally listening to their customers. What those with hearing loss have been wanting is a hearing aid that fits deep enough into the ear canal so that it can’t be seen from the outside, but still offers the best that technology has to offer in the realms of sound quality and noise reduction. In recent years, the Lyric by Phonak has been the best choice for those who are concerned by the aesthetics of a hearing aid. The Lyric is an extended-wear hearing aid. This little technology marvel stays in the ear canal for up to 4 months. It’s gotten rave reviews from audiologists and from hearing aid wearer’s alike and has been featured on TV shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors. But Lyric isn’t for everyone. In fact, research says that about 43% of those who could wear the Lyric (they’re hearing loss is appropriate, they’ve never had chemotherapy or radiation treatment to their head or neck, they aren’t diabetic, the ear canal is large enough) end up not being compatible with Lyric for some reason. Often, the reason is just the fact that the ear canal won’t accept it. So, what do you do if your ear isn’t right for Lyric or your budget won’t allow for it (subscriptions range from $3200 to $3600 a year)? There is a new alternative called the Micro Canal hearing aid. If you’re looking for small and discreet but Lyric isn’t an option, the micro canal hearing aid may be your answer.

Couple

Phonak’s Nano micro completely- in-the-canal hearing aid is a daily wear instrument. This means the wearer places it in the ear canal each day and removes it each night. Batteries must be changed roughly every 4 to 7 days, which can be annoying, but it’s a small price to pay for those who are looking for a discreet option. While the size and invisibility may be the most appealing of the benefits the Nano has to offer, it also offers exceptional sound quality, noise reduction and feedback suppression. It is also available in two different levels of technology, giving those with hearing loss a bit of choice in a time when cost is a concern.

The Phonak Nano is the ideal instrument for the active individual who requires a discreet hearing aid. Its sound quality and technology features offer better hearing in the situations that are found to be most difficult. The size of the Nano makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a discreet alternative to the typical hearing aid. If you are curious if the Phonak Nano is right for you, call our office for a free consultation. We’d love to give you more information and discuss your specific hearing needs.