Amazing Hearing: Hearing Aids

PURCHASING HEARING AIDS

Hearing aids are necessary when the body has lost its ability to function “normally”. The transmission of sound has been altered, and usually decreased in intensity. The hair cells located in the inner ear become damaged and the sound transmission is altered. The brain is not receiving the full spectrum of speech and therefore comprehension is decreased. A person with hearing loss has to work harder to understand the message while a normal functioning hearing person does so effortlessly.

Hearing in more difficult environments, like background noise, soft speakers or those not facing the listener, brings out the hearing loss. A hearing aid is used to help replace the defective part not working 100% in the hearing systems. The purpose of a hearing aid is to give the brain the cleanest, clearest signal to process. Keep in mind, it is the brain which is doing the listening and comprehension. It is not the hearing aid.

Picking the Right Manufacturer and Model

There are many styles and models of hearing aids from which to choose. Six manufacturers dominate the market; Widex, Oticon, Starkey, Phonak, ReSound, and Sivantos (formerly known as Siemens). Each manufacturer has several models, and some have other brands under the parent company. For example, Phonak also owns Unitron and Lyric. Starkey owns Nu Ear and Audible. Oticon owns Danavox.

As audiologists and hearing aid dispensers, it is our job to stay on top of all the changes in technology. There is no way a patient could or should know what is best for their hearing loss. We love to discuss options that family or friends suggest, yet just because they suggest a manufacturer doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for you. Our thorough evaluation will help us decide together the best option for your hearing needs.

Technology is evolving constantly, and we change with it. We are not tied into any one company or manufacturer. Our goal is to provide the best solution for you and your listening needs.

What Styles Are Available?

Why Is Amazing Hearing Different?

At Amazing Hearing, our goal is to change the quality of your life by changing “HOW” you hear. We take pride in offering the best hearing solution for you, your family, and friends. We recognize fitting hearing aids is both an art and a science. With 20 years in the hearing care business, we have the experience and the empathy to understand the importance of quality communications and how to achieve it.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to hearing care professionals trying to meet your expectations. Many dispensers are “licensed” to fit hearing aids, yet few have the education as an audiologist and the skills of 20+ years of both fitting and counseling patients. We also utilize hearing therapy and help slowly change the brain’s perception of sound. We do not put hearing aids on a patient, ask them how it sounds? then send them out the door, which many patients have experienced elsewhere. We do things different, and our patients notice it. Often patients who have worn hearing aids for years comment on the knowledge and detail they receive at our office.

At Amazing Hearing, we assess, fit, counsel and most importantly, use Real Ear Measurements to verify our actions. The full 45-day process gives our patients the slow, steady improvement they need to get acclimated to sound and re-train the brain to accept, recognize and utilize the new auditory stimulus it is receiving.

With a audiology degree in communication and hearing sciences, coupled with a background in speech pathology, counseling and language development enhances our therapy and practice methods. We believe in using Amptify and other aural rehabilitation tools to complement the re-training process.

Proper fitting and training are the major difference between Amazing Hearing and other offices, including Costco. Our business model is quality assessment, quality products, quality counseling and follow up. Yet, quality does not necessarily mean expensive. We offer a variety of prices to fit different budgets and lifestyles.

Amazing Hearing
Is There Really Any Difference Between Models?

Is There Really Any Difference Between Models

All hearing aids amplify sound, just like all cars get you from one place to another. The difference is ‘how’ it happens or the experience along the way. With a car you pay more for the automatic features and the comfort along the way. Yet, if you don’t do a lot of driving, you may pick a different car or model. Your choices vary as your needs change. The same is true with hearing aids. They all amplify sound and work to reduce (NOT ELIMINATE) background noise. How they do this DOES DIFFER from manufacturer to manufacturer. Just like there is a difference between a Mercedes 550 and a Ford Escort, there is a difference between Oticon OPN S, Widex Evoke and Costco brands.

The problem is the consumer doesn’t how know to determine the difference or what features are important to buy. Many times consumers pay for the Mercedes, yet they walk into the office with the Escort. It is our job as the professional to guide you through the process and explain the differences in styles, models, and features.

Does the Manufacturer of the Hearing Aid Matter?

Starting out with a quality product does help, which is why we are not tied into one single manufacturer. We are constantly researching and assessing the latest and best technology choices for our patients. Every manufacturer has their premium, standard and basic hearing aid product lines, yet the difference is in the performance. We use “award winning” and “best in the industry” manufacturers so our patients have the best technology available.

Use of Proprietary Software

Use of Proprietary Software:

Don’t Get Locked In

Audigy AGX, Starkey Audible, Miracle Ear, Beltone, Starkey NuEar

We do not use proprietary software in any of our hearing aids. Proprietary software prevents patients from seeking adjustments from another hearing healthcare professional outside that proprietary network. Starkey Audibel, Miracle Ear, Beltone, Starkey NuEar, and some Costco and all Audigy AGX hearing aids utilize their own proprietary software. In the case of Audigy offices, you may think you are purchasing an Oticon OPN hearing aid, yet it is not “open” for others to adjust. Any time AGX is associated with a model, it is “closed software.” This limits the number of providers a patient can seek for help. This is important, as often a provider can leave a practice, a patient moves, or the patient wants to try another healthcare professional yet cannot. Legislation is currently being considered to address this concern as the patient may not understand the impact of proprietary software until well after the purchase.

Hearing Aid Can Be Adjusted For Better Performance

At Amazing Hearing, we measure every hearing aid’s performance using Real Ear Measurement Technology. This process allows us to make adjustments to a patient’s hearing aid while in the ear and speech stimulus is being used.

Sadly, about 65% of all hearing aids brought into our office which were purchased from outside sources can benefit from adjustments. On countless occasions, patients report a marked difference between the original setting (from the other office) and the adjustments we recommend. Although not every hearing aid performs equally, all hearing aids when properly fit and adjusted, should sound clear and fit comfortably.