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Have your heard… about the hearing aids you can’t see?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By: Dr. Jessie Grzeca


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As technology advances in all aspects of our lives, hearing aids are no different. Technology developers continue to find new and better ways to improve the quality of our lives. If you think back to the TV or cell phone you used ten or even five years ago, I would bet that the one you have today is a different size with much different capabilities. The same goes for hearing aids, but instead of getting bigger and bigger like your TV, the hearing aids of today are getting smaller and smaller. Just as picking out your first flat screen HD TV or Smartphone may have made your head spin, finding the right hearing aids, especially if it is your first pair, can be equally confusing. Some fit behind the ear, some fit deep into the ear and some are placed into the ear and stay there for three months until your audiologist replaces them. And while all may have their place, there are certainly several aspects to consider.

 

 

For now, let's focus on the size aspect. Two relatively new styles of instruments to compare fit deep into the ear. One device, the Lyric, has been touted as an invisible, extended wear device that you do not have to remove or handle on a daily basis because you leave it in your ear for a full three to four months, and when the battery drains, you return to your audiologist for replacement. Another device, the custom hearing aid, also sits deep into the ear canal, also allowing for invisible wear, but can be removed when needed: at night to sleep, or when swimming, etc.

 

 

While choosing between these two devices, you should decide what is most important to you. The Lyric boasts the convenience of not having to handle the hearing aid daily, but you will need to make three to four appointments every year to have the instruments replaced, increasing the overall cost of treatment.

 

 

Also, typically the candidacy for the Lyric is limited; you are likely not a candidate if you have had ear surgery in the past or if you occasionally need to have wax cleaned from your ears, or if you swim, scuba dive, or sky dive. You may also be limited by the size or shape of your ear or ear canal or by the type of hearing loss you have.

 

The custom hearing aid is specifically molded to the size and shape of your ear canal so it fits properly and comfortably. And it can be taken out if you swim, fly, scuba dive or sky dive. It also has more sophisticated digital processing which can accommodate and precisely match a wider range of hearing losses, and even changes to your own hearing. So, the custom device is more likely to be an exact match to you, your hearing, and your lifestyle without sacrificing the benefits.

 

Both the Lyric and custom hearing aid devices feature unique qualities and we recommend you weigh the options with your personal needs and wants. Whether you have been disappointed by hearing aids that you tried in the past, or have never worn hearing aids but struggle with conversations in your daily activities, now may be the time to try something new that is small, convenient and out of the way, that will make a big impact on your life! Come in and see the hearing aid no one else will see! Request an appointment here.

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.