hear·ing aid

/ˈhi(ə)riNG ˌād/

noun

plural noun: hearing aids

  • an electronic device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as regulated medical devices in most countries

"Only 8% of hearing aid users are dissatisfied with sound quality.  If we compare users of hearing aids that are </= 5 years old to </= 1 year old, we see that for following conversations in background noise there is a 7% improvement.  For using hearing aids in the workplace, satisfaction has gone from 65% for MarkeTrak VIII (~2010) to 92% for MarkeTrak X (~2020).  For listening in background noise, satisfaction goes from 27% for non-adopters to 76% for hearing aid users!"

 

Gus Mueller, PhD
Contributing Editor

Audiology Online

What’s the Deal with Lithium-ion Rechargeable Hearing Aids?

All the top hearing aid manufacturers now provide rechargeable hearing aids with lithium-ion batteries. In fact, rechargeable batteries are becoming so attractive that industry watchers are predicting they may soon replace disposable batteries as the preferred solution for hearing aids.  Lithium-ion batteries, first introduced to the hearing industry in 2016, provide a strong combination of energy and power density that yield more than a full day of power for hearing aids, even when paired with power-hungry Bluetooth devices. Patients are not experiencing the intermittency or malfunctions that plagued earlier rechargeable technologies, as these utilize the same technology found in your mobile phone and hundreds of other rechargeable consumer products.  For safety and performance reasons, lithium-ion batteries are sealed into the casings of hearing aids, which means that they no longer have battery doors. The lack of battery doors provides the added benefit of better moisture protection for the hearing aids, as well as easier operation for patients that have dexterity issues or simply find it difficult manipulating the small controls on hearing aids.

When using rechargeable hearing aids, battery life is one of the first concerns that comes to mind. How long will your hearing aids last on a single charge? Rechargeable batteries in hearing aids are actually much better than expected in terms of operational time, and this is thanks to careful power-consumption optimization by the hearing aid manufacturers. On average, a lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid takes approximately 3 hours to fully charge.  When compared to wireless earbuds, which typically only last 4-8 hours, hearing aids are light years ahead, with operating times anywhere from 19-30 hours* depending on form factor. There are many factors that will lead to less operating time (Bluetooth audio streaming, wireless streaming, speaker strength, etc.) but should your device lose power before your day ends, most hearing aids only require a 30 minute charge for an additional 6 hours of use

 *elements taken from HearingTracker.com 

Which Manufacturers Does Eastside Audiology Use?

"Each manufacturer has a portfolio ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 different circuits and every one of these manufacturers approaches hearing loss from a different perspective, such as using their own proprietary algorithms inside their own proprietary circuit.  Different algorithms affect hearing loss in different ways.  One circuit may be appropriate for Hearing Loss X but it may not necessarily be the best for Hearing Loss Y – this is why two different people with similar hearing losses can have vastly different experiences with different manufacturers"

Did You Know?
What should I expect when I come to Eastside Audiology?

 

The first step is about educating you, the patient, on your individual hearing health and your specific hearing issues, so we will begin with a baseline hearing test. Next we will determine your goals.  We want to know what you want to achieve and those are the parameters that we will work within.  Who knows?  Your first goal may be to just get your family off your back!  In time, it may develop into wanting to learn more about hearing aid options.  Not everyone is ready for a hearing aid when the loss suggests it.  Lifestyle is a significant factor.  As Dr. Davis says, “I wore glasses to correct my vision for school – but only on a part time basis.  It wasn’t until I started my career when my needs changed that I started wearing them full time, even though my prescription was still the same.”  We respect the process because we want this to work as much as you do.  

“no pressure, no quotas, no commission sales…

At Eastside Audiology you can expect respect, and you can expect knowledge"

"You have to hear what you don't want to hear to know what you don't want to hear"

- Dr. H. Gustav Mueller

How Does Eastside Audiology Fit Hearing Aids?

 

All hearing aid fittings at Eastside Audiology include Real Ear Measurement (REM) Verification.  This verification involves the placement of a probe tube anywhere from approximately 20mm (for children) to 31mm past the intertragal notch (adult males).  So in layman's terms: this probe tube is reeeally close to your ear drum - much deeper than your hearing aid.

REM verification is important because it objectively measures how a hearing aid's intensity (volume) and frequency response (pitch) are affected by *your* ear. 

"A proper hearing aid fitting is like building a house on stone as opposed to building a house on sand.  No matter how well built the house is - without the proper foundation it will always eventually fall down"

Hearing Aid Maintenance & Repairs

 

It is important that your hearing devices function properly for as long as possible.  Nobody wants to invest in something that always has to be sent away to the lab for repairs for any period of time.  That is why we have the ability to repair your devices onsite.  Hearing aids are powerful devices that consist of many tiny sophisticated parts and perform numerous algorithmic functions (think machinery + computers working together) - but the reality is that sometimes they fail.

Regular maintenance of your hearing aids will prevent the need for frequent repair service and provide you with years of reliable hearing.  Onsite "walk-in" hearing aid maintenance is something we provide free of charge at Eastside Audiology for all hearing aids we dispense.  We highly recommend taking advantage of this service.  It will extend the life of your devices!

Should your hearing aid fail, or stop working for any reason, it can generally be repaired here at Eastside Audiology as an onsite repair. If your hearing aid cannot be repaired onsite, it may need to be sent out for repair to the manufacturer.  Manufacturer repairs can take anywhere between five to ten business days to receive back from the lab. These repairs may be covered by your hearing aid warranty but if the warranty has expired, there may be a service fee for the repair.  Fees vary depending on the manufacturer.

...and yes, we can always look at hearing aids purchased from other clinics. 

Sometimes when "they" can't fix it - we can!

"...After contact with my specific make of Hearing Aid I was told by a different business I needed a new pair but the research advised me to go to Eastside Audiology and they were only to happy to fix the problem! I would recommend the intelligent staff there! One thing I would like to see published is if we are able to buy through a payment plan! Since the shut down of the Government Hearing Aid assistant plan many don’t know where to turn for assistance nor help with Hearing Aid problems!! And Cost! Thank you Eastside Audiologists for your service to help me hear again!"

Carol K

"Yes.  We have payment plans"

Eastside Audiology