Sunday, August 14, 2022

What’s New In Hearing Aids

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The Livio Ai Hearing Aid From Starkey

What’s NEW with Hearing & Hearing Aids in 2020?

The Livio AI is the first-ever BTE hearing aid to use artificial intelligence to provide superior sound quality and the ability to track your mental and physical health. This device is compatible with wireless devices, giving you direct access to your smartphone, remote microphone or TV streamer. Livio AI has even better noise management than its predecessors, as the devices can communicate with each other, which improves performance in background noise. Next, its smartphone app allows you to customize sound settings to low, mid, high, and ultra-high. A few more notable features you to need know about include:

  • On-Board Sensors: Livios on-board sensors allow you to track brain and body activity. That way, you can monitor your overall health and reduce the risk of a variety of diseases.
  • Translation: The smartphone app can actually translate speech from different languages. It will then send the translation to your hearing aids, which you can hear in whatever language you prefer.
  • Fall detection: Because people with hearing loss tend to fall more, the Livios onboard sensors can track how many times you fall. This could potentially help you in the long run to be more conscious of any balance issues you may be experiencing due to hearing loss.

Hear Your Own Voice With A Natural Sound

If you already wear hearing aids, then you may have noticed that the sound of your own voice sounds different than what youre used to. Luckily, some of todays newest hearing aids can finally solve this common complaint. Miracle-Ear hearing aids does this with state-of-the-art Voice Recognition Technology, which uses a unique dual-processing method to make your voice sound as natural as possible.

So how does new voice recognition technology work in hearing aids? When your hearing care professional fits you for your hearing aid, this technology pinpoints the location of your mouth and hearing aids, and detects when you are speaking. Within just seconds, the technology actually learns your voice so that it can be processed separately from other sounds whenever youre speaking. The result? Youll sound more like yourselfand the sounds around you will be optimized, too.

What To Look For In A Hearing Aid

Comfort: Since youll likely be wearing your hearing aids for a decent amount of time, you want to make sure they fit comfortably in your ear and dont become an annoyance. Hearing aids that come with sleeves are ideal and can fit better to the natural curve of your ears.

Focus: Hearing aids should help you zoom in on the voices you want to hear, so make sure to choose one that takes extra care to cut out excess noise in order to help you focus on the sounds that are most important to you.

Trial Periods: Take advantage of trial periods and test as many hearing aids as you can. Its important to remember that getting used to a hearing aid takes time and if you’ve been missing amplification for a while it’s going to take a while to get adjusted. So I think one big tip is just not to be worried and try them, confirms Dr. Wichova.

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Ordering Hearing Aids Online

Its possible to get hearing aids by ordering them online or through the post. These are usually basic amplifiers that come in standard settings. They wont be tailored to your individual hearing loss. Its in your best interests to have a face-to-face consultation where you can discuss your particular needs and be properly diagnosed.

Best Hearing Aids For Frequent Travelers

What

To find the best hearing aids for frequent travelers , I looked at the following factors:

  • Number of clinics – How many clinics support the product?
  • Ease of access – How quickly can you get an appointment while traveling?
  • Reliability of hearing aids – Can you rely on the hearing aids while traveling?

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Speaking Out: Advice From Hearing Aid Users

Researching hearing aids taught us that users have to keep an eye on a lot of things, from features and specs to battery life and technology levels. It would be wrong for us to give you tips on hearing aids without even considering the perspective of actual hearing aid users, so to give you the best advice, we interviewed four hearing aid users about their experiences with hearing aids.

Two of the interviewees asked us to use aliases to protect their identities, while the other two allowed us to use their real names. The alias users will be named Mark Cole and Marie Rose, while the others are Eric Vincent, a designer here at ConsumersAdvocate.org, and Lourdes Rodriguez, who you met in our Helpful Information introduction. The age of these users ranges from 34 to 70, and the range of their hearing loss ranges from moderate to profound.

Hearing Aids Wont Return Your Hearing to Normal

Its a common misconception that hearing aids restore your hearing back to what it was before, but this isnt true. Hearing aids arent a cure for hearing loss, they just help you listen and understand better said Marie Rose, a hearing aid user since she was two years old. I say this because, as I grew up, I thought that eventually there would be a hearing aid that would fix all the nuances of my hearing loss, but even with the technological advancements of today, its sometimes difficult for me to understand someone during a conversation, especially if they talk on a soft tone.

The Best Hearing Aid Technology

Most hearing aid manufacturers offer four levels of technology, such as basic, standard, advanced and premium. The higher the tech level, the more sophisticated the hearing processing and options for customization. Also, the higher the cost.

Data shows that standard aids, properly programmed for your specific hearing loss, offer good performance for most people, says Palmer. Many providers can adjust and upgrade your hearing aids remotely to keep them up-to-date with your hearing even if mobility or health concerns prevent in-person visits.

Many hearing aids have a telecoil, or a tiny copper wire that enables people to hear better in venues wired with an audio induction loop, a type of assistive listening service technology. Hearing loops are becoming increasingly common in theaters, schools, and other facilities.

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Best Budget: Audacious Dia Ii

This hearing aid from Audicus is one of the more affordable options on the market and has multiple financing options: shop now or enroll in a monthly membership. Its ideal for mild to moderate hearing loss and is a discreet behind-the-ear device that adapts to your environment while filtering out any unnecessary noise. It also has all the bells and whistles, including adjustment channels, directional microphones, and more. If the Dia II doesnt seem like the right fit, no worries, you have up to 45 days to return it.

The Eargo Max is a great introduction for those experiencing the early stages of hearing loss and looking to use a hearing aid for the first time. Known for their sleek and functional design, the Eargo Max recharges much like AirPods to last you throughout the day and provide great sound amplification while reducing feedback. It also comes with four different sound profiles and will remember which one you like best. If you decide the hearing aid doesnt suit you within 45 days, you can easily return it, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

The Hearing Aid Revolution: Cheaper And Easier To Get

NEW Phonak Paradise Hearing Aid Review | The BEST Hearing Aid of 2021?

Interview by Brian W. Simpson

New FDA guidelines are poised to upend the hearing aid market in the U.S., dropping the cost of devices by as much as 90% for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.

The proposed FDA rule, published October 20, allows hearing aids to be sold directly to consumers without an exam or fitting by an audiologist. About 37.5 million American adults have some trouble hearing, but only 16% have ever used a hearing aid, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Current costs for hearing aids can be $4,000 to $5,000one reason why so few Americans who need them actually use them. The devices are not covered by Medicare or by most private insurance plans.

When the guidelines go into effect as soon as next fall, the U.S. will be the first country to have a regulated market for over-the-counter hearing aids, says Frank Lin, MD, PhD 08, director of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health at the Bloomberg School.

Its exciting, and invariably where the U.S. goes, its going to have trickle down effects on the rest of the world market, say Lin, who worked on reports from the National Academies of Sciences and White House that influenced 2017 legislation leading to the new FDA guidelines.

In the following Q& A, Lin explains whats in the new rule, why its likely to bring companies like Apple and Samsung into the hearing aid market, and how soon new, cheaper hearing aids will be available.

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Eargo Hearing Aids Review

Best for Comfortable In-Ear Hearing Aids

Eargo offers some of the least visible completely-in-canal hearing aids available, and unlike the majority of other hearing aid brands, all four Eargo models are rechargeable. But what makes this brand unique is its approach to inner-ear comfort and sound amplification.

Featuring soft silicone earpieces that are suspended within the ear canal rather than plugging it, Eargo hearing aids give users with mild to moderate hearing loss a far more breathable option than ever before. Eargos Flexi earpieces fit deep inside the ear, hiding the hearing aid from view, and they leave plenty of room for bass-heavy sounds to travel into the wearers eardrum unamplified while only high-treble sounds are picked up and aided by the device. The result is natural sound and unrivaled comfort.

Eargo hearing aids are sold directly to consumers via the companys website, Eargo.com. Though these hearing aids are not pre-programmed using individuals audiogram results, Eargo offers a capable and user-friendly app through which users can program their devices and reach Eargo hearing specialists.

Eargo Hearing Aid Device Features

Features

Eargo Max hearing aids retail at $1,500 for a set of two and come with ten extra Flexi Fiber earpieces.

A set of Eargo Neo hearing aids retails at $2,000 and comes with six medium-sized Flexi Palm earpiece replacements.

Neo HiFi

Eargo 5

Pros and Cons of the Eargo Hearing Aid Brand

Pros

Phonak Virto Marvel Black

Phonak

Also called simply Virto Black, this in-the-ear hearing aid combines breakthrough hearing technology with modern styling. Its the first customizable hearing aid to use Phonaks , which features universal Bluetooth streaming, hands-free phone calls, and a personalized hearing experience, thanks to the myPhonak app. Virto can stream directly from iOS, Android, or virtually any other Bluetooth-enabled audio device, and its microprocessor chip runs five wireless protocols at the same time, including Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth LE, Binaural VoiceStream technology, AirStream technology, and Roger for wireless connectivity. In 2019, Phonak won a CES Innovation Award in the Accessibility category for another hearing aid in its Marvel line, the Audéo Marvel.

Price and availability Phonak hearing aids are sold only through licensed hearing care professionals . Prices vary based on several factors, including products and services bundled and any applicable insurance benefits. While prices also vary from one HCP to another, most consumers can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 per hearing aid. Phonaks website offers a provider finder that can connect you with a hearing specialist for a consultation and fitting.

Expert comment An in-the-ear hearing aid that looks like wireless earbuds and may be more aesthetically acceptable to some, says Humphrey.

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Experienced Hearing Aid Wearers

Experienced hearing aid wearers may understand the benefits of wearing a hearing device, but they could still need assistance with a new hearing device. New benefits and developments in technology can offer longtime wearers a world of new possibilities, such as opportunities to boost their hearing aid performance and enjoy greater freedom with smart apps.

Which Is Better: In

Whats New in Hearing Care? New Via AI Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in several styles including behind-the-ear and in-the-ear. Finding the best device for you depends on several factors.

A behind-the-ear hearing aid sits behind your ear with a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The case that sits behind your ear holds all the electronic parts necessary to make it work. BTE devices are bigger, so they are typically easier to use and handle, making them a good choice for kids and seniors. They’re also able to house a larger battery, which provides a longer battery life. Plus, the bigger size makes them more durable and able to provide more features. BTE hearing aids serve a range of ages and hearing loss. They are appropriate for all ages and work well for anyone with mild to profound hearing loss.

In-the-ear hearing aids fit inside the ear, either partially or completely, and work well for mild to severe hearing loss. Some ITE devices come with a telecoil, which is a small magnetic coil, that enables you to hear sound through the circuitry rather than the microphone. This may improve the quality of phone conversations or help you hear in environments that use special sound systems like induction auditoriums. ITE aids are more discreet than BTE, but they are still bigger than nearly invisible options like a completely-in-the-canal hearing aid.

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Why Are Some Hearing Aids Becoming Available Without A Prescription

Hearing loss significantly affects quality of life for tens of millions of adults in the United States and contributes to high health care costs. Untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, and it has been associated with serious conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, dementia, reduced mobility, and falls. Yet only one in four adults who could benefit from hearing aids has ever used them. Making hearing health care more accessible and affordable is a public health priority, especially as the number of older adults in the U.S. continues to grow.

Leading experts in science, technology, and hearing health care have been working with researchers, health professionals, and consumers to find safe and effective ways to improve access to hearing health care for adults. They suggested changing some regulations that studies showed were barriers to adults getting the hearing help they need. They also recommended that the FDA create guidelines and quality standards for OTC hearing aids.

Its Not The Hearing That Improves Life But The Listening

The focus should be on ease of functionality, not the gimmicks that escalate the price for hearing aids beyond the range of reasonable.

Manufacturing a hearing aid costs a few hundred dollars, but a single aid can retail at two thousand dollars each, with most people needing two of them. Companies market products based on attractive warranties, battery life, and connectivity with TV or phone.

But use of hearing aids is often a hard sell, and the prices and high-tech complexities are not the only deterrents.

A study in the International Journal of Audiology notes, For a hearing-impaired person, a hearing aid is often beneficial, but noise and annoying sounds can result in non-use. The study found that 91% of participants experienced annoying sounds daily when using hearing aids. Researchers concluded that improved clinical fitting routines may be the solution.

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Buying A Hearing Aid Online

Having the ability to buy hearing aids online is a huge win for buyers it eliminates some barriers that may prevent people from seeking care for their hearing loss. However, it’s important to consider that buying hearing aids online isn’t for everyone.

In some cases, hearing loss may be caused by a medical problem. Consultation with a medical doctor and an audiologist prior to buying hearing aids would uncover potential medical causes for your hearing difficulty. Buying hearing aids without that intervention may allow an underlying medical problem to persist.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your ability to find the right hearing aid for your needs may depend on your specific type and severity of hearing loss. Hearing aids that are bought through an audiologist are programmed individually for each person, according to the specifics of their audiogram . Many online hearing aid companies have an audiologist who will interpret audiograms and program hearing aids accordingly, but others do not.

If you aren’t sure what type of hearing aid you need, speak with an audiologist or hearing aid specialist who can guide you in the right direction.

How Do You Control Hearing Aid Settings

What’s new in ReSound Hearing Aids 2016

Some hearing aids have controls you can use, some automatically vary their settings depending on the environment you are in and others can be adjusted using a hand-held remote control or through an app on your smartphone. Always ensure that your audiologist discusses your preferences and the options with you to help ensure that you make fully informed and shared decisions.

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The Difference Between Hearing Aids And Otc Hearing Amplifiers

First and foremost, its essential to know that there is no such thing as over-the-counter hearing aids currently being sold in the United States. The FDA has not yet approved any over-the-counter hearing aids for sale, which means any hearing device you can simply buy in a store without input from a specialist is not a hearing aid- its a personal sound amplifier product .

PSAPs function differently than hearing aids and amplify all sounds rather than specific ones. Theyre also not customizable and present a risk of over-amplification that can cause hearing damage and exacerbate existing hearing loss. PSAPs are not recommended for people with hearing loss rather, theyre meant for someone without hearing loss to wear in certain situations when necessary.

The FDA is in the process of approving over-the-counter hearing aids. However, even once these are approved, we recommend still working with an audiologist when possible. Without professional input, youll still run a higher risk of exacerbating hearing problems or simply not using your devices to the maximum benefit.

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