“High Tech Products to Help You Hear Better”
Neil DiSarno PhD, CCC-A of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association(ASHA) showcased several different hearing technologies that are available on the market on The Today Show recently, including the new Made For iPhone hearing aids (see our previous blog post “Hearing Aids Made for iPhone?” for more info). There are a lot of options on the market…there are literally hundreds of different models of hearing aids, consisting of different sizes, shapes, colors and functions. Then if you add in Personal Sound Amplification Products (or “PSAPs”, as Dr. DiSarno calls them in the video), it really starts to feel like a jungle out there.
High Quality Services to Help You Hear Better
Dr. DiSarno also discusses the importance of “the rehab plan and audiologist that you work with that helps you make the adjustments.” Since the focus of the video was on hearing devices themselves, they didn’t discuss the services that are provided along with the devices. For example, the Phonak Lyric must be inserted by a trained hearing healthcare professional, and lasts 2-3 months (click here for more details). That means: a)the professional needs to be specially trained to provide the services, and b)the user needs to anticipate coming in to the office around six times per year. Other hearing aids, such as the Starkey Halo (discussed on the show), are more “traditional” and only need servicing/maintenance 2-3 times per year…however, the initial process of selecting, programming, verifying, and validating the instruments is quite important. If that process is not done correctly, the end result may be sub-par. If an individual goes the PSAP route, it is typically an “over-the-counter” type of experience…and it would be similar to using a magnifying glass to see something better, instead of getting glasses or contact lenses. The cost is low, but these are not custom-fit and they are not typically recommended for someone who has a hearing loss. Obviously, with so many options available, the first step should be to see an audiologist to make a plan for what is right for your situation.