Dr. Wright's Blog

Hearing is An Expression of Love

Last weekend my mom and her sister were at our house for dinner.  My mom was talking about her experience using hearing aids to her inquiring sister.  It seems her sister is noticing hearing loss and was trying to get a sense from my mom of what it would be like to use hearing aids.  I stood chopping veggies in the kitchen overhearing this conversation with keen interest and it was a simple statement that my mom made that gave me pause.

This is what she said….. “wearing my hearing aids is a gift I give to the people that I am with”. 

I found this interesting because many times in clinic I hear people with unaided hearing loss tell me, “its not a problem for me, but my spouse would say otherwise. 

Using hearing aids is an act of love to the people around you.  Taking steps and making effort to ease communication in a relationship is an act of kindness to the one you love. 

To show them that what they have to say is meaningful. 

So this Valentines day, you can give flowers or take efforts to improve communication by accepting that if one person in a relationship is expressing a problem then it is not just her/his problem, it is a communication problem which by definition is a two way street. 

Or, best case scenario, you can do both. 

Happy Valentines Day.

Medical Grade Titanium Hearing Aids

Hearing aids keep getting smaller, and better.  I love technology.  I love how it constantly gets better and small steps each time equal large movements forward. 

I also love the advantage we have of being an independent hearing clinic how we can offer all the newest products to our clients.  

The newest thing announced today…

Medical Grade Titanium Hearing Aids.

Why is this important to you?

- Smaller hearing aids that fit deeper into the ear canal.  Titanium allows the shell of the hearing aid to be as thick as a dollar. 

- This means less room for shell material means more space for venting and components

- Better hypoallergenic material.  Having something sit millimeters from your eardrum in a part of your body with sensitive skin can mean itching and irritation at times.      Medical grade titanium promises to solve these issues.

- Longer lasting.  Using material that is stronger will naturally protect the components inside

- 15x stronger than the existing acrylic material.  This means dropped hearing aids or cracks will no longer be an issue.

The anticipated launch date of this product is April 3, 2017.

Best Hearing Aids of 2016

We have seen a host of new product launches in 2016 and I thought that to be in keeping with lists of new years that we would write our own best of 2016 list. 

Here goes!

Best Sound Quality

Winner:  Oticon Opn1Oticon launched this new product in June and for many hearing losses it is best in its class for sound management

Best Budget Hearing Aid

Winner:  Phonak Audeo B30.    Phonak’s September launch of their rechargeable series gave us access to a hearing aid with a lot of features for the least cost. 

Best for Simplicity

Winner:  Siemens Binax Pure hearing aids.   These rechargeable hearing aids with custom ear molds are the easiest for people who have any challenges with vision or dexterity. 

Best Invisible Aid

Winner:  Starkey Soundlense.  Starkey has been able to fit all of the hearing aid components into a package so small it surprises me each time I see them.  They are so cute!  Tiny.  And they fit incredibly deep into the canal. 

Best Accessories

Winner:  Resound.  The variety of microphones and ways to connect to computers, kitchen radios, cell phones and other people is unmatched.  There is nothing you can’t connect to when you use Resound aids. 

Best iPhone App

Winner:  Widex.  Their new Beyond hearing aid has just been released this month and the options on the app for the hearing aid user are awesome.  Ways to mix sound, different settings for speech and music and a host of other things to play with. 

Happy New Year!

 

Top 3 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Hearing Aid User

1.  Tv Adaptors-  these wireless devices stream TV audio into hearing aids wirelessly. The advantage to using this over headphones is that you are not cut off from the room like you are with headphones so you can still converse with your partner while hearing the TV.  Added bonus- you can leave the room and not lose any sound! 

Cost $100-$300 dependent on model

 

2.  Electronic Dry Aid Kit-  this is a step up from the regular desiccant beads.  This kit comes from Widex (but can be used with all hearing aids) and is amazing at drawing out moisture from a hearing aid to prolong its life.  Cost $100

 

3.  Auxiliary Microphone-  this handy device can be clipped to the speaker and the voice is steamed to the hearing aids without the noise in the room .  As someone with normal hearing I have been known to use our demo aids and clip the microphone to my husband in the car because he is soft spoken plus the car noise makes it a strain to hear.  Not with the mini mics. These wireless devices makes listening easy.  Bonus: they do double duty when you plug the into the headphones jack of your kitchen stereo .  This allows you to stream all the music or talk radio you want into your hearing aids! 

Cost & $150-$1100

3 reasons to get hearing aids before the end of 2016

1. Without fail at the end of each year we have a dozen or so people who are smart enough to realize if they purchase hearing aids within the 2016 calendar year that they can claim this expense as a tax deduction.  This not only goes for hearing aids but also for batteries and repairs.  Added to other medical expenses people incur each year in things like dental, prescriptions and even insurance premiums, the benefits can be worth the extra planning.  If you are considering hearing aids keep this in mind and you can enjoy them over Christmas plus get the tax break!

2. Have improved hearing for the upcoming social season.  Many people have a lot on the go in December and will put off their hearing until the new year.  Why miss all of the Christmas dynamics with Aunt Liz making quiet side bar remarks about Auntie Linda that send you into gut splitting laughter.  Enjoy hearing these moments when they come up.

3.  In January many of the hearing aid companies raise their pricing so you will miss out on some great promotional pricing. Oticon sale pricing will end Dec 31 as will Resound's and Siemens.

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Hearing Fact

More than 8 million Canadians have some type of hearing problem. Hearing difficulties are often unrecognized by the person involved. Children and teenagers seldom complain about the symptoms of hearing loss, and adults may lose their hearing so gradually they do not realize it is happening.

The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist.