Tagged: GNReSound

Don’t Let Moisture Damage Rain on Your Parade

January 11, 2016

Snoqualmie Falls Washington State USAOne of the most common reasons for hearing aid malfunctions is moisture damage. This sort of damage is frustrating because, in most cases, the wearer didn’t get in the shower while wearing the hearing aid or accidently jump in the pool or get caught outside in a sudden downpour. In general, hearing aid wearers try very hard to protect their investment and follow their hearing healthcare provider’s advice for care and maintenance.

Hearing aid manufacturers are just as motivated to find a solution to moisture-related hearing aid failures as hearing aid wearers are. GNReSound, a hearing aid manufacturer that isn’t wet behind the ears in terms of hearing aid technology advancements has recently partnered with the company P2i, a world leader in liquid-repellent nano-coatings to develop iSolate nanotech. This thin protective covering, now found in all GNReSound hearing aids, promises to greatly decrease the number of hearing aid repairs due to moisture damage.

“Nano” is a Greek word meaning, “dwarf.” iSolate nanotech works by establishing a thin, protective shield on all internal and external components of the hearing aid. This protective barrier bonds to the hearing aid components at the molecular level, ensuring a thorough and complete covering of all components while continuing to allow sound to enter the system. GNReSound recently conducted a review of 50,000 hearing aids sold in the six months following the introduction of the protective coating. It found that the iSolate technology decreased moisture and debris related repairs by 50 percent.

The introduction of iSolate nanotech means that hearing aid wearers don’t have to worry about moisture raining on their parade. With GNReSound hearing aids, wearers can be assured that their instruments will remain in optimal working condition for much longer than hearing aids of the past, reducing the cost of long-term hearing aid use and improving overall satisfaction.

Sometimes Good Hearing Aids Aren’t Enough

September 14, 2015

ThinkerSometimes, good hearing aids just aren’t enough. There are so many things that go into “good hearing,” from having a good diagnostic test to choosing the right hearing healthcare professional to purchasing the right instrument for your hearing loss. Once you’ve gone through the process, the last thing you want to hear is that you might still have trouble hearing in some instances, especially in situations with background noise. But for many people, this is exactly the case and it can be very frustrating!

So why is it that good hearing aids are just not enough?
Well, it generally has to do with the ear more than the hearing aids. You see, when there is hearing loss, there is damage to the ear in some capacity. That damage cannot generally be undone. So, while hearing aids make sound louder, the sound still has to be processed through the damaged system. The damaged system can cause distortion of the sound, which makes it difficult to hear clearly at times. In addition, we listen with our brains, not with our ears. So, once the sound makes it past the damaged ear, the sound has to be processed and made sense of. If there is any change in the brain from long-term hearing loss or if the brain cannot hold on to information for an adequate amount of time, what is heard can be lost. The listener has only one recourse – ask for the speaker to repeat themselves. Inevitably, the response is, “aren’t you wearing your hearing aids?”

So what can you do when even good hearing aids aren’t enough?
There are several different things to try if you’re having trouble hearing in noise, even with your noise reduction hearing aids. The first is a system called LACE (Listening and Communication Enhancement). LACE is an auditory training program done at home on your computer. It is a month-long intensive program that requires 30 minutes of your day to improve the way the brain uses the information it gets. Another good way to help improve hearing in noise is a system like ReSound’s Unite Mini Microphone. The Mini Mic can be clipped to your speaking partner, left on a podium or set in the middle of a table during a round-table discussion, dinner or meeting. The Mini Mic is a small device that sends sound directly to the hearing aids. By putting the Mini Mic close to the person you’d like to hear, you are essentially decreasing the distance between the speaker and the ear and thus, background noise interference can be reduced significantly.

If you have noise reduction hearing aids but are still having difficulty hearing in noise, talk with your Audiologist about the other options that are available to help improve the way you hear and communicate. We’re here to help!

Buying Hearing Aids On-Line – A Bad Idea

December 1, 2014

There have been recent announcements by Best Buy and UnitedHealthcare that they will soon begin providing hearing aids to consumers for purchase directly through the internet. The concept of selling cheap stock amplification directly to consumers is not a new one. The Internet has changed how all business is done. More and more people go to the Internet to gain product knowledge and check prices before or after going to local stores. It’s not surprising, then, that there are companies that want to try to attract your eye when you are researching a hearing aid purchase. And with the state of the economy, the easiest way to get your attention is through your pocket book.

Buying cheaper hearing aids on line may seem like the fiscally responsible thing to do. We all want to be careful about how we spend our hard-earned money. In reality, however, this approach provides poor solutions for consumers. The reason for this is that fitting hearing aids is an art as much as it is a science. Brandon Sawalich, Senior Vice President of Starkey, one of the better-known and well-trusted hearing aid manufacturers in the US released a statement recently, denouncing the plan for on-line hearing aid sales by direct-to-consumer companies. He stated,

“better hearing is not a commodity. It is an art, guided by science and delivered by experience.”

In an email to hearing healthcare providers, Kim Herman, President of one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers, GNReSound, also denounced the sale of hearing aids directly to consumers. She noted, “As HIA research has shown, eight of the top ten reasons for patient delight with hearing aids are directly attributable to the patient’s experience with a trained hearing instrument professional. At ReSound we are committed to the principle that hearing aid technology is successful only when a trained professional has evaluated the hearing loss and fit a hearing solution that meets the patient’s individualized needs.”

TechnologyWhen fitted correctly, hearing aids can improve the quality of life for anyone who wears them. When fitted incorrectly, they can become a very expensive addition to the side table drawer. So, even if you do get a “great deal” on-line, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t wear them. If you buy hearing aids on-line, how do you know you’ve picked the right one? Who will be there to help if the sound isn’t quite right? What will you do when the hearing aid breaks down? Who is going to teach you how to best use them in your varying listening environments? The better choice is to work with a highly trained hearing healthcare professional who has your best interests in mind, not a website that is simply trying to sell you hearing aids.

How do you find the professional that is right for you? Start by researching the professionals around you. But, think about this: 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.

1. Ask for a referral from friends you know who have been successful with hearing aids. Did they respect and trust the person they worked with?
2. Ask your Primary Care physician which hearing professional they refer patients to for hearing loss and hearing aids. Remember, this person reflects either positively or negatively on the physicians themselves. Normally they select other professionals they refer to very carefully.
3. Check the web. What are other people saying about the professional or clinic you are considering?
4. Then check the professional’s website. Are they highly trained? Does what they say about themselves and their clinic fit with what you are looking for? Do they give you a clear reason why you should select them? What sets them apart from the other professionals in the area? Is their website an information resource?
5. Finally, make certain the hearing healthcare provider holds a valid license, are in good standing and have no serious complaints against them. Every state has a licensing board for hearing healthcare providers. Check the state’s website for information.

Doing your homework about the professional you will work with is the best first step toward better hearing. And although it may cost a bit more to work with a hearing healthcare provider, you’ll find you are much more satisfied with your hearing aids and the benefits they provide than if you purchase your hearing aids from an on-line company that really should stick to selling MP3 players and ink cartridges.