Tagged: noise reduction

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!

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.


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.