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Expert Answers from Hearing Healthcare Providers

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How do hearing aids help tinnitus?

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Paula L. Schwartz, AuD
Many people find that amplification alone addresses the tinnitus.  One of the many theories of tinnitus is that it is neurological activity resulting from cochlear damage or hearing loss. Therefore, address the hearing loss and potentially address the tinnitus. Secondly, amplification of the ambient environment presents contrast sound making the tinnitus... Read more

What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
The Veteran’s Administration has contracts in place with six major hearing aid manufacturers - GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens (Signia), Starkey, and Widex. The VA uses the manufacturer’s premium levels of technology-the same hearing aids that sell for the highest prices in the private sector. There are several styles of hearing aids available, from... Read more

How much do hearing aids cost?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
This is a common question with a very complex answer. Depends if you're paying just for hearing aids or if you're also paying for your care. Imagine the dentist giving you wire and glue and telling you to put your braces on youself- doesn't seem to make much sense does it? Hearing aids and technology require different, but equal expertise.There are two... Read more

Is it possible to upgrade my current hearing aid without purchasing a new device? I wear Phonak.

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Currently, the only company offering technology that can be upgraded is Unitron, a sister company to Phonak (both are owned by Sonova) which has technology that parallels them for the most part (about 95% of Phonak technology is available in Unitron products, and vice versa).  Other companies may offer upgradeable technology in the future, particularly... Read more

I am looking to get hearing aids for my grandmother, but I was wondering, are there any traveling audiologists that will come to her? Or does she need to go to a audiologist’s office with a sound proof booth?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
Great question. I think it largely depends on where you are and whether there are any audiologists that provide "home visits" or "home care" in your area. You have a couple of options. 1) Go to Google and search for "{your city} audiology home visits" or something similar. 2) You can also check out the Hearing Tracker listings in your area to see if... Read more

What's the difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
The primary differences between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist (or "dispensers") is their level of training and scope of practice.  Audiologists have either a masters degree or doctorate in the field of audiology ( total of 6 - 8 years of higher education), and as such have an extensive amount of training in just about everything... Read more

Which in-the-ear hearing aids are best for moderate-to-profound hearing loss? I'm a 45 year-old long-time HA user who must hear well in board meetings and on the phone. Price is not an issue. My audio in both ears is 45-60-65-75-85-90-95

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Christopher Hamilton, AuD
The hearing aid manufacturer is not nearly as important as the professional you choose. Of the many brands of hearing devices available, many can and will work well, assuming they are programmed properly using standard verification methods. I would recommend focusing on finding an excellent Doctor of Audiology and the everything else should fall into place. 

Is there any effective medical treatment or supplement for tinnitus?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
To date, there is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs to treat tinnitus.  Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are ways to help treat tinnitus.  [This analogy is similar to cancer- there is no cure, but there are treatments.]  First and foremost, you need to see the proper professionals.  Audiologists are the licensed... Read more

What is the best solution for using a stethoscope with hearing aids?

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Sara Nagel, AuD
I am located in Houston, home of the world's largest medical center, and have a fair number of patients who are medical professionals.  The best solution that has worked to date has been the Think Labs Amplified Stethoscope, coupled to Bose over-the-ear headphones that are large enough to wear over hearing aids.  This eliminates the need for the medical... Read more

Do hearing aids work normally when the battery is low?

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Ram Nileshwar, AuD
This is a very good question and one that my patients frequently ask. The quick answer is no, meaning they may malfunction on a low battery. However, the period of time the battery is low is extremely small - probably a couple of hours at the very most, depending on the type of battery used. The battery current demands from todays advanced hearing aids... Read more

What hearing aids are easiest to use for an elderly person?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Purchasing hearing aids for a person of any age or lifestyle requires a significant amount of consideration.  The "best" or "easist" or "most durable" hearing aid depends on the person's hearing acuity, communication needs, lifestyle, dexterity, vision, cognition, and preferences.  Many patients, of all ages, like the option of rechargeable batteries for... Read more

What is the Roger Pen, and how can it help me hear better?

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Noreen Gibbens, AuD
I had a recent fitting of  Roger Pen that I want to share.  The patient is well into her 90s, with a moderate to severe flat loss and poor word understanding abilities. She came in to see us because she was continuing to struggle, despite having what many would  describe as "premium level" hearing aids.   I was a bit concerned that the Roger Pen... Read more

How do I remove earwax?

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Rebecca Gomer, AuD
In ideal situations, the ear canal should not need to be cleaned as cerumen (earwax) acts as a self cleaning and lubricating agent in the healthy ear.  However, at times the canal will develop an abundance of cerumen that will need to be removed.  Especially if you are experiencing pain, loss of hearing in that ear, itching or odor from the ear canal, or... Read more

Is the Oticon Opn hearing aid available with a telecoil option?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
Oticon just announced two new upcoming (June 2017) form factors with telecoil support: miniRITE-T and BTE13 PP. Here's a breakdown of what to expect. The new miniRITE-T model will be similar to the existing Oticon Opn miniRITE, with a slim body that sits behind the ear and a speaker (on the end of a thin wire) that sits inside your ear canal. The hearing... Read more

Where are hearing aids manufactured?

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Kurt Mooney, BC-HIS
It depends on the manufacturer.  Starkey, for example, is an American-based company that manufactures their devices in the United States.  Oticon, ReSound, Wydex, and a few others originate from Denmark.  There are hearing instruments produced in many other countries as well.  However, almost every one of them has a state-side office where... Read more

What is sensorineural hearing loss?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
Sensorineural hearing loss is a reduced sensitivity to sound from damage, malfunction, or malformation in the sensory and/or neural auditory pathways. This can occur within the cochlea (organ of hearing) from damaged stereocilia, hair cell bodies, nerve connections, or the 8th cranial nerve itself. It is not necessarily nerve damage itself but this could... Read more

Are there any differences between normal Phonak hearing aids and the Phonak hearing aids sold at Costco, in terms of quality and performance?

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Sara Carnevale Fearon, AuD
The Phoank Brio is the line available at Costco. The new Audeo models (Vs) run on a newer/faster computer chip and therefore give better sound quality. They have some other new features including a wind noise reducer (one of the biggest hearing aid complaints is wind noise). Basically, the Brio is an older version of Phonak's technology - depending on... Read more

What are the best hearing aids?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
Several factors come into consideration when considering what hearing aids to choose from. It is important to find a knowledgeable and experienced hearing health professional -- an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser -- to help you arrive at the best devices for you. The case can be made that finding this professional is the most important part of the... Read more

Does Medicare cover hearing aids?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
As of March, 2016, Medicare does not cover hearing aids, nor does Medicare cover hearing tests done solely for the purposes of hearing aid selection and programming. However, Medicare does reimburse for hearing evaluations performed for medical purposes.While Medicare does not cover hearing aids, there are some secondary coverage plans for individuals... Read more

Why do hearing aids whistle?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
Similar to a public address system, a hearing aid can hum, whistle, or ring when amplified sound comes out of the hearing aid’s loudspeaker and is picked up by the microphone and re-amplified, over and over again. This creates what’s called an acoustic feedback loop.Possible causes of feedback include:Improper insertion into the user’s ear.Improper... Read more

What are best practices in audiology?

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Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD
Best practices are a set of professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing aid balance disorders.  They are determined following years of clnical and laboratory research.  For example, the American Academy of Audiology lists standards and guidlines here.  Best... Read more

Which company makes the best rechargeable hearing aids?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Currently, Siemens (Signia) and Phonak have rechargeable products in their portfolios. Phonak has products at 3 different price points that are rechargeable (models BR-50, BR-70 and BR-90) and Signia has products at the top 2 price points (Cellion 5 and Cellion 7). Differences are not all that significant, with the exception of this - the Phonak products... Read more

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Hearing loss is often progressive, so the symptoms may be difficult to notice until the hearing loss starts to have a true impact on ability to communicate. The most common reported symptoms is difficulty hearing or understanding womens or children's voices, or the perception that people are mumbling. This is because a typical age-related hearing loss... Read more

My provider only carries one brand of hearing aids. Is it important to have several brands to choose from?

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Lee Weissman, AuD
No one manufacturer has it all and they are leapfrogging each other with new technology all the time. Particularly with regard to water resistance, rechargeability, size, ergonomics (e.g., how easy to feel and press the buttons and open & close the battery compartment), battery life, SmartPhone compatibility, SmartPhone apps, Streaming of audio from... Read more

I am about to get my first hearing aid having lost hearing in one ear in 1969. I don't like to rush into things. I have visited three clinics and their recommendations have been either Phonak BiCros or Resound Linx2 with a Multi Mic. Thoughts?

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Lisa Goulart, BA
Two different solutions. To give you a direct and quick answer: my preferred choice for unilateral profound losses would be Phonak Bi-CROS. Most clinics would offer you a trial period allowing you the opportunity to trial both then you choose what suits your loss, life style and personal preference better. 

Will Donald Trump help bring down the cost of hearing aids?

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Paul Dietsch
The president has no direct power over the price of hearing aids. There was a bill to give a tax credit when you buy hearing aids but it did not pass. H.R.1882 and S.315 are the bills. Write to your congressmen and women to tell them you want it to pass. Trump says he will make them listen now so maybe it is a good time to try again.

What is the expected battery life for a hearing aid with moderate wireless iPhone use?

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Charles Darby PhD, MA, BC-HIS
Based on your question, I'm assuming you are using some type of audio streamer with your aids or using one of the newer Bluetooth direct aids.  More info is needed to properly answer but I'll attempt to give a general idea of battery life and what impacts the battery's duration.  The power draw required by the aid determines the life of the battery.... Read more

Which IIC hearing aids are the best? I'm looking for devices that can adjust on their own based on any noise environment, with a natural feel and clear sound.

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Jennifer Arndt, BC-HIS
All labs that produce IICs have technology levels that adjust for noisy environments to the best degree that today's technology allows. No IIC, or any other size hearing instrument will sound natural if a person has never worn hearing aids, until their mind has gone long enough hearing through them all day, everyday so that listening through the hearing... Read more

Are any hearing aid companies offering cyber monday deals?

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Elise Gregoire, AuD
I would say it's relatively unusual for clinics to offer deals and the manufacturer of the devices cannot directly offer any deals as the devices cannot be legally sold online. However, some clinics do have Cyber Monday deals, including the clinic I work for in Berkeley, CA. Here's an example (our offer), but each clinic would be unique, if they have an... Read more

Is Starkey going to go out of business? My doctor recommended Starkey aids to me, but I'm worried after reading about the fraud lawsuit.

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Lee Oreskovich
The fraud case is brought by Starkey against former employees of the company who are charged with stealing $20 Million from the company. After recent trips to Starkey as well as other manufacturers it does not appear that Starkey is in any trouble financially. Their products have been consistently on par with other major manufacturers investing heavily... Read more

Is Phonak's Sound Recover 2 much better than the original Sound Recover? I am considering upgrading but I am not convinced. Have your patients seen an improvement in their hearing with the new version?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Our clinic is actually conducting a longitudinal study on this to verify the improvement of SoundRecover2 over SoundRecover, and so far it is very promising, so the short answer is "yes."  But here's the long answer...We currently have approximately 12 participants in the study.  SoundRecover2 was introduced in April of 2016, but strictly using... Read more

What's the difference between the Phonak Brio and the Brio 2?

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Julie Norin, AuD
The Phonak Brio and Brio 2 are products that are specially made for and only sold at Costco warehouses. I only work with the main Phonak products that are available to audiologists market-wide, so I am not all that familiar with the specifics of the Brio/Brio 2 products; However, I do know that they are not the exact same product as the current Phonak... Read more

Which hearing aids can stream music from an android phone?

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Steven Chargo, MA
Nearly all hearing aids currently on the market from every manufacturer can stream music from an Android, or any other smart phone that has bluetooth capability.  You will need to have a bluetooth accessory item which will be paired with the phone as well as the hearing aids.  There are several manufacturers (Resound, Starkey, and Oticon) that have... Read more

I have a cochlear Baha 5 SuperPower implant on my left side and wear a ReSound hearing aid on right side. Would there be a noticeable improvement by having a second Baha installed on the right side?

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Lynn M Firestone, AuD
It would depend on the hearing loss in your right ear. That is something that you should discuss with your provider.

Is Costco's ReSound Cala a "made-for-iPhone" aid?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
If you look at Apple's official made-for-iPhone (MFi) compatible device list you will see that the ReSound Cala is not listed. The only Kirkland Signature device listed as MFi is the KS 6.0. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure whether Apple's guide is updated. If you take a look at ReSound's Cala guide, you will find the following: "You can... Read more

Are there any differences between the Resound hearing aids sold at Costco and other Resound hearing aids?

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Daniel Caleb Dowell
Based on a visual comparison, the ReSound Cala is the same as ReSound LiNX2. Unfortunately, ReSound doesn't allow independent providers access to the technical specifications of their Costco line of hearing aids. In fact, Costco purchased hearing aids are software "locked" and can only be adjusted at Costco hearing aid locations. Typically, Costco... Read more

Why is it difficult to understand words with hearing aids?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Hearing loss is categorized into three types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.  A conductive hearing loss means there is an issue in the middle ear space (ear drum and middle ear bones) causing the hearing loss; a sensorineural hearing loss means there is an issue in the inner ear and/or beyond, and a mixed hearing loss is a combination of a... Read more

Does the Resound LiNX2 have a hands-free capability of talking on iPhone without bringing the iPhone up to the mouth?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
It absolutely does, but requires the Phone Clip+.  The Linx2 allows audio through the iPhone wirelessly, but still requires you to use the microphone of the iPhone.  The Phone Clip+ becomes the microphone.  It additionally allows you to make program changes, volume changes, mute functionality, and answering/rejecting an incoming phone call.

Is nerve damage to the ear due to loud noise reversible?

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Matthew Pearson
Yes and no! If you are exposed to excessive levels of noise ie a concert you may get a temporary threshold shift ie your hearing ability will reduce temporarily however continued exposure can lead to a permanent reduction in hearing ability. Custom hearing protection if exposed to noise regularly is a must. You have been warned!

If removing earwax does not improve my hearing, what is the next step?

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Kristen Armstrong, AuD
You should visit an audiologist to have your hearing evaluated. If your hearing decreased suddenly, it is a medical emergency and you should contact an ENT right away.

What are the differences between the Resound Linx2 9 and Costco Cala 8?

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Julie Norin, AuD
I am not familiar with the Cala - or any other Costco-brand hearing aids, but it's my understanding that many of the products being sold through Costco are "made-for-Costco" products, so they are not really the same exact products as those being manufactured and sold under the manufacturer label (in this case, Resound Linx 2 9). Also, the products being... Read more

Is there a difference between the Alta2 Pro and the Alta2 Pro miniRite?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
The Oticon Alta2 Pro was offered in the following behind-the-ear form factors (or styles):Alta2 Pro miniRITE (reviews)Alta2 Pro designRITEAlta2 Pro RITEAlta2 Pro miniBTEAlta2 Pro BTE13 and BTE13 105 (Power aid)Each of the styles is slightly different. Some are smaller, some are larger, some offer more manual control (push button and/or volume control),... Read more

Which hearing aids have the best directional microphones?

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Timothy Charles Steele, PhD
Technically, I believe all manufacturers use the same microphones but the algorithms that each digital hearing aid uses for processing vary greatly.  I think it would be difficult to answer exactly what "directional microphones are best in which hearing aids" because each manufacturer has their own proprietary hardware and software that is responsible... Read more

Where can I buy a Soundhawk? Has the company gone out of business?

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Mark Bogner, HIS
The company has ceased operations. A brief statement can be found on this Soundhawk's support homepage.

Is there a product I can purchase to reduce the chance of losing my hearing aids? I lead a very active lifestyle, exercise often, and hike with a hat that covers my ears. My hearing aids are Resound LiNX LS961.

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SUSAN FENRICH, BC-HIS
I would also recommend EarGear.  The other recommendation would be to have custom earmolds made to put over the end of the reciever.  These will help keep the receivers (speakers) in you r ear better.  Your hearing care provider should be able to get them for you.

What is ReSound Cala?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
The Resound Cala is currently on sale at Costco, and looks to be the newest product offering from Resound (superseding the previous Costco-only Sola models). Many compared the Resound Sola to the first generation of Resound's LiNX hearing aids, which were one of the first Made-for-iPhone hearing aids to hit the market (and a hugely successful product for... Read more

Who makes Voyage hearing aids? The ones sold at CVS.

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Harriet B Jacobster, AuD
Rexton manufactures the Voyage line of Hearing Aids sold at CVS.

I am looking for a BiCros hearing aid. Currently on trial with Audibel A4i Platinum and trying to find the right hearing aid. What manufacturer is recommended? Any other suggestions?

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Alina Phoenix
I am single sided deaf, wear an Audibel A4 Platinum BiCros, and fit Audibel hearing aids.  I previously wore a Widex Dream 440 BiCros system.  Both are top of line systems I tried, and I vastly prefer my Audibel A4 Platinum to the Widex for hearing in noise especially, as well as functionality of the controls. You mention that you are wearing the A4i... Read more

What is the quality of Blamey Saunders hearing aids?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
I cannot personally vouch for Blamey Saunders products, but here's what I was able to dig up on the internet:"Australia Hears is now known as Blamey & Saunders. Their aids are made by America Hears, who happen to use ADRO which was developed by a company started by Blamey. The CEO of America Hears is listed as a team member on the Blamey &... Read more

Does Starkey plan to market a TV streamer for Halo 2

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Currently there is no accessory/TV streamer option for the Halo 2. Starkey's accessories run off a 900MHz wireless technology, which work with all but their Halo 2 devices. The Halo 2 devices run off of 2.4GHz wireless technology.

Does Oticon Opn allow me to stream calls directly from an iPhone like the Linx or Halo aid?

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Kristen Armstrong, AuD
Yes, Oticon Opn works with iPhone. You can stream phone calls and audio directly to the hearing aids from iPhone 5 and 6 devices. There is also an app that can be downloaded to iPhone, as well as several android devices, that will allow the user to adjust their Opn hearing aids for various environments. The app includes a way to track your hearing aids... Read more

Is it true that some hearing aids are locked? I am considering purchasing hearing aids at Costco, but want to be sure I can have them adjusted elsewhere (in case I move, etc).

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Duane Smelser, HIS
Yes.  At Costco, the brand that is has proprietary software is Kirkland, which is made by Resound. Other proprietary brands available elsewhere are Miracle Ear (made by Siemens), Audibel (made by Starkey), Oticon aids purchased from Avada (corporate owned stores).  There are probably more but these are the ones I'm most familiar with.  It's important to... Read more

How long do the batteries last in the Halo 2 hearing aids?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
My experience with the battery life for Halo2 hearing aids is that they last about 7-10 days, based on full-time use (12+hours per day).  This can be affected by the amount of streaming use (i.e. cell phone, other app).  If you are a heavy cell phone user or watch movies on your iPad, the drain could be even higher.

Is Phonak Audeo B a significant upgrade to Audeo V?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Audeo B has faster processing time and teh main difference would be the introduction of rechargable hearing aids in certain models. 

How well does the ReSound LiNX2 9 RIE 62 work with an Android smartphone? Are there any limitations compared to an iPhone?

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Dan Schwartz
ReSound LiNX, Enzo, LiNX², & Enzo², and Beltone First, Legend, Boost, & Boost+ hearing aids work well with compatible Android phones. However, with Android there is no A2DP stereo streaming. From the ReSound Smart Hearing Aid Compatibility page:ReSound Smart is compatible with the following Android devices**:Please note: Direct stereo streaming,... Read more

What is the best brand of hearing aid battery?

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Christine Pickup, AuD
The biggest factor I have found in battery life with zinc-air batteries is time exposed to air before use.  After the sticker is removed, let the battery sit about 5 minutes to fully activate before inserting into the hearing device.  Since batteries were reformulated without mercury, it takes a little time for the paste inside to become fully... Read more

Does Phonak make a hearing aid with Bluetooth, telecoil, and rechargeable batteries?

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Ryan Himeda, BC-HIS
Recently, Phonak launched their new platform that should be shipping out as we speak caled the Audeo Belong Rechargeable or Audeo B-R.  According to the materials that we received from Phonak they are claiming that the hearing instrument charges very quickly with about 24 hours of batt life.  They also explain in their documents that the hearing... Read more

I have a 60% hearing loss in my left ear and no hearing in my right ear. What kind of hearing aid can help me? I also need one that will connect to my smartphone.

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Goutham Gosu, AuD
I would suggest trying a BICROS hearing device; a couple of different manufacturers carry these kind of hearing aids which are smartphone compatiable. I would reccomend researching Signia (Siemens), Phonak, & Starkey. At this given time those 3 have the most updated technology when it comes to BICROS devices. 

Why does my hearing aid beep while I'm chewing food?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
When you chew, you hearing canal actually changes shape. You can test this yourself by placing your pinky finger into your earcanal, then opening and closing your mouth (make sure you take your hearing aid out first). When your earcanal changes shape, this can often lead to amplified sound leaking out of your earcanal around the sides of a custom-molded... Read more

Is there any point to getting the Resound LiNX2 962 model to have the telecoil?

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Juliëtte Sterkens, AuD
Absolutely! I highly recommend you obtain hearing aids that offer Bluetooth and telecoil technology. I have personally fit thousands of hearing aids with telecoils and worked with consumers around the country that have benefited from this feature.  While hearing aids have come a long way in the last decade, they do not give you normal hearing and most... Read more

What does a seven-tone "tune" coming from one of my Oticon Alta 2 hearing aids mean?

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Kara Norcross, AuD
I spoke with Oticon.  They stated it is likely the Start-up "jingle" meaning it is the tones that come one when the hearing aid is first turned on.  If you are having the tones happen after you've worn them a while, it indicates the power is going off and coming back on.  You can change the battery. If it is a new battery you probably want to try a new... Read more

Over the past week, I have been experiencing imbalance when I walk. It’s worse when I bend over. What’s causing this, and is there anything I can do?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
As Kristi indicated, a full audiological evaluation is warranted.  Your primary care physician should be notified and you should request a referral to see an audiologist who specializes in vestibular (balance) testing.  Just a disclaimer that I am not specialized in this area of audiology but I frequently refer patients experiencing extreme symptoms like... Read more

I have profound hearing loss both ears. I wear Beltone Boost Plus 1795. Is there a better brand for one-on-one conversation? Any other suggestions for better speech understanding?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
There are not a lot of differences between hearing aids when it comes to understanding speech better in a one-on-one situation.  Particularly in a quiet situation.  In-order-to answer this question properly, 3 pieces of information need to be identified.1.       What is your Word Recognition Score?          Your Word Recognition Score is a percentage of... Read more

I get a lot of moisture in my ears from my hearing aids and I get a bad smell and have to use ear drops frequently. Would the Eargo help to prevent this problem?

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C. Scott Mills, AuD
I am familiar with Eargo and the idea behind it is to allow some ventilation around and through those little tendrils that cover the end of the hearing aid. It's a good theory and certainly may create less surface contact on the skin in the ear canal. As others have noted, your underlying problem may be a skin issue that needs to be treated. The... Read more

What can cause a hearing aid, such as the Phonak Virto v90, to raise and lower volume randomly while watching TV?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Most new hearing aid technology now features automatic analysis of your listening environment to react to background noise and take measures when this occurs in order to optimize speech intelligibility for you.  As an example, when you go from a quiet room to a restaurant, the hearing aids may react by initiating its directional microphones to limit the... Read more

My mother uses hearing aids that are 14 years old. She is having difficulty hearing, but is covered under Medicare. Are there any programs that could help her afford a new pair of hearing aids?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Depending on her household income, she may qualify for Starkey's Hear Now program. She can contact the program directly to obtain an application at 1-800-648-4327, or she can call them and ask for a referral to a local provider who would help facilitate the application and provide testing, dispensing, and follow up care. Another option would be to seek... Read more

Is Phonak Audeo V a significant upgrade to Audeo Q ?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
In addition to quicker processing and bandwidth which leads to brighter sound quality and understanding in a non-distored inner ear, the Venture line of Phonak devices has better understanding in noise. This includes car noise and background noise. All of the features available in the device does depend on the tier/level of device that an individual... Read more

Why doesn't the hearing aid push button change the sound when I press it?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
There are 2 reasons why a pressing Push Button may not alter the sound quality: (1) The button has not been programmed to control anything or (2) If it has been programmed to control volume or a specific environment, it may need an adjustment to work better for you.  Let me elaborate.  During a hearing aid fitting with a new user, I typically don't... Read more

Why does my hearing aid keep beeping? It's not the low battery sound.

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
There could be several reasons that device is beeping and this may be dependent on the type of device that you have. Reasons could include: losing connection to it's partner, a button being stuck and changing the settings, poor battery contact, intermittency, damaged module, etc. I would recommend calling your provider's office to solve the problem.

I have had ringing in my right ear for about 2 weeks. My ear feels plugged up with partial hearing and no pain. What should I do?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
I don't typically answer these questions, but my personal opinion is to seek medical attention immediately. Your symptoms may be caused by something as simple as an earwax blockage, which can be easily remedied by your local doctor. However, the worst case scenario is that you're suffering from a case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is... Read more

I am 62 and new to hearing aids. My test shows loss in mid-range freq. I have to turn the TV up and lose words in conversations, etc. I want the best hardware - small, light-weight. Which will work better for me Signia primax 7px or Oticon Opn?

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Lisa Goldstein, MA
Siemens and Oticon are both excellent manufacturers, researching and developing the best in hearing aid technology. I have worked with both the Primax 7 and the new Oticon Opn with success. It's always nice to work with an audiologist that will let you try both instruments however, it also depends on your needs. If you want the latest in direct... Read more

I have a Phonak cross-over pair--one ear is deaf and the aid in that ear transmits over to the good ear. Are similar products available for the Audeo B-R?

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Rebecca Jahed, AuD
At this point, there is not an option for a rechargeable CROS/BICROS with the Phonak Belong series.  I check every so often when I call Phonak because it would be an amazing option to offer those with an un-aidable ear.  This information that I have been given is that the battery voltage is not compatible with the requirements necessary when streaming... Read more

What iPhone apps are good for people with hearing loss? What are you recommending to your patients?

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Gene Woodard, PhD
A great app i stumbled onto is called TUNITY and it is FREE - the best kind of app!  It is strictly for television listening and streams the audio signal from the tv to a smartphone.  IF the smartphone is also bluetooth connected to hearing aids, the user can stream real time tv audio to the hearing aids via the phone.  It is a simple app to use.  There... Read more

Are the new Oticon Opn hearing aids really that much better in background noise? I am considering upgrading from Alta2.

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD
We have only fit a handful of patients so far. But, so far the feedback (no pun intended) has been great for hearing in noise! We all have different abilities to hear in noise and from my standpoint, this is a key factor in personalizing any solution.

Are LiNX2 ITE hearing aids more susceptible to moisture than Phonak Virto hearing aids?

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Custom hearing device products do not have IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, only behind-the-ear devices do. For moisture, the highest score a product can receive is an 8, which means it is waterproof. Custom devices between ReSound or Phonak are likely to be similar, with a rating of 7, which means it can be submersed in water for up to 30 min and still... Read more

What do hearing aids sound like?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
For first-time users, hearing aids will often sound “tinny” or “amplified” or even seemingly too loud for the first few days of use. This is because for most first-time users, their brains have forgotten what it is like to hear normally, which is part of a process that is often referred to as auditory deprivation. However, after regular use of the... Read more

What can be done to help nerve deafness?

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Teresa Burns, AuD
"Nerve Deafness" is a term which people sometimes use to refer to sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss due to damage to the cochlea (inner ear) or the nerve connecting the cochlea to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetic conditions, ototoxic medication, illnesses and other... Read more

Does barometric pressure affect hearing?

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Natalie Phillips, AuD
You may experience some brief hearing loss and pressure in the ear with the change in atmospheric pressure, however, hearing may be affected permanently if there was damage to the ear due to barometric pressure changes. Cilck here is some further information.

Who fits hearing aids?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
Hearing aids are fit by licensed professionals, usually audiologists or hearing instrument specialists. An audiologist has typically completed 6-8 years of higher education and holds a Masters or Doctoral degree in Audiology. A hearing instrument specialist has typically completed licensure requirements as defined by the state in which they practice.... Read more

Is there an "in the ear" hearing aid available for high frequency profound hearing loss?

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Adam Wentling, HIS
To clarify, "in the ear" (ITE) typically describes any "custom" hearing aid in which an ear-mold impression is taken and the entire hearing aid is encapsulated inside of it.  Basically, anything that is not a "Behind the Ear" (BTE) hearing aid.  That being said, there are many ITE hearing aids that can reach a profound high frequency loss, but I'm... Read more

Does the Oticon streamer send stereo Bluetooth to the Alta 2 Pro miniRITE?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
No the Streamer Pro only allows mono audio streaming to both devices.  The new Oticon Opn productline does stream in stereo directly from the iPhone.

Are there hearing aids that can connect to Bluetooth devices using the standard Bluetooth protocol, without requiring additional accessories?

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Christine Pickup, AuD
The latest Made for iPhone hearing instruments do not need an a relay device to interface with other technology such as an iPhone or iPad.  There are several manufacturers which make hearing aids that are Bluetooth enabled, but all are based on Apple's BLE due to size restrictions.  If you wish to connect beyond an iPhone or certain Android devices (with... Read more

How much does EarLens cost?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
The price of Earlens will vary based on location.  Earlens corporation has a suggested retail price which has fluctuated over the past year since they released the device for commercial use.  This is due to the variability of costs associated with the fitting of the device.  As a dispenser of Earlens, we charge $5,995 per device ($11,990 for a pair)... Read more

Is Eargo a hearing aid or PSAP?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
Eargo has been called a hearing aid in the press, but I cannot find any instance of Eargo being called a hearing aid on the Eargo website itself. Also, all FDA-registered hearing aids should be listed in the Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID), and I cannot find "Eargo" in the listings. See for... Read more

My husband was tested at AccuQuest this week for hearing aids. The cost is $5800.00. Can you tell me if AccuQuest is ripping consumers? We didn't think they would be this expensive.

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Mark Butler, AAS
Hearing aids come in a number of price ranges based on the technology level of the aids you are purchasing.  Those prices typically range from a low of about $2000 per pair to as much as $7500 per pair for a top level set of hearing aids.  Assuming five levels of technology then a price of $5800 would be a fair amount for a second level pair.  Top level... Read more

My ENT recommend Soundhawk to help with tinnitus is this possible?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Tinnitus is a  symptom not a desease. I am assuming all medical tests have been conducted are any underlying medical pathology ruled out. Ypu need to see an Audiogogist , get a dignostic audiogram done. There is no one specific treatment approach for tinnitus. Is is very individualistic. Treatment plan is made based on teh degree  and severity of... Read more

I have the StreamLine TV, Pure 13 BT Primax, and a Samsung Android phone. Which apps do I use to listen to the TV through my hearing aids?

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD
An app that will stream live TV through your devices is called Tunity.  It will be of help when you are not at home. 

My grandparents are in their 90's and are interested in hearing aids, but they are also nervous they will buy them and end up not using them. I would love to hear other patient's and healthcare professions experience and ease of use once adjusted properly

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Hearing aids would be highly benificial ti improve their quality of life. Modern aids are very simple to use and manage. The newer rechargable aids will take the hassle of changing batteries..which is a great plus. Your hearing aid provider will have some demonstration models or some places will even offer a trial aids as loan. That will be a  good... Read more

How important is having my hearing aids fit in person versus buying over the internet?

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Megan Carter, AuD
It is extremely important to have hearing aids fit in person versus buying over the internet! Hearing aids are custom fit for your ear and for your hearing. When a hearing aid is purchased from the manufacturer, it comes as a blank computer chip. The person fitting the hearing aid takes into account the size and shape of your ear canal as well as the... Read more

Can I purchase an extended warranty for my hearing aids (beyond my 3 year warranty)? Is it worth it?

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Christine Pickup, AuD
Hello!  Yes, you are able to extend your warranty.  Talk to your hearing care provider for specific costs.  Most manufacturers will gladly extend your warranty for another year for a relatively low fee.  If you are worried about loss replacement, it is also a good idea to visit with your insurance carrier.  They can often create a small policy for your... Read more

Are there any hearing aids that can stream audio directly from a Macbook Pro laptop?

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Lisa Goulart, BA
Direct streaming, without the use of a streamer, not at this stage. Hopefully soon. Lisa G

I have severe to profound loss. Hearing aid companies are boasting about advances in feedback cancellation. Is a dome fit an option for me now?

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Todd Gibson, AuD
You might be able to get away with power dome tip.  However, the most appropriate coupling would be a custom power shell that is encased in the receiver wire.   I use them all the time with very good success.  They are comfortable and can come in acrylic or soft materials as well. 

I'm comparing the Linx 3D with the Linx 2 and only see a few differences: IOS 10m v. IOS8.2; binaural directionality III v. II; remote mic (the 2 has "Unite Mini Micorphone", 3 does not); smarthphone app (3D app, v. Smart and Relief App). Explain?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
One of the biggest differences between LiNX 2 and LiNX 3D is the ability to receive help remotely from an audiologist via the ReSound Smart 3D app. Resound and Signia (with their Pure 13 BT) are the only two hearing aid manufacturers that have released products capable of being adjusted remotely. If you aren't interested in this functionality, you might... Read more

Do hearing aids really block out background noise?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
It depends on perspective.  Hearing aids do not truly block background noise, but can limit what the hearing aids amplify.  The primary complaint of hearing aid users about their performance is how they function in background noise.  What they are really complaining about is not hearing background noise, however, but not hearing what they want to hear... Read more

What are the options for dealing with hyperacusis and hearing loss?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
As previously indicated hyperacusis is a very delicate situation.  Even the standard test procedures need to be modified to accommodate possible discomfort felt by the patient.  As an example, one procedures is the "Acoustic Reflex Test", which is literally designed to play loud beeps until we detect an acoustic reflex in the muscles of the middle ear.... Read more

Is the Signia Cellion Primax compatible with easytek?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
According to the Cellion primax data sheet (page 10), the Signia Cellion primax is compatible with EasyTek™.  Audio streaming via EasyTek is available in the 5px and 7px technology levels.

What are the risks of buying hearing aids online?

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Paige Peterson, PhD
In general I would be wary. It is first and foremost not currently legal to be selling hearing aids online. These are typically being run without manufacturer knowledge and are hit with a cease and desist order fairly quickly. At that point any warranty outside of a manufacturer warranty tends to be voided. Now that aside, programming hearing aids is... Read more

How do I stop my hearing from getting worse?

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Lee Weissman, AuD
Excessive noise exposure is the main factor we have control over. Maintaining good cardiovascular health and controlling chronic diseases as well, such as diabetes, can preserve microcirculation in the inner ear. A book I recommend is Save Your Hearing Now by Michael D. Seidman.

I have profound hearing loss and the Naida V50 with the UP RIC sounds great but can be too powerful sometimes. Can an Audeo B70-R work for me as well with the UP RIC?

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Timothy Charles Steele, PhD
I believe these are important questions addressed between you and your audiologist.  There are many variables that make decisions like this such as your type/degree/configuration of your hearing loss, your sensitivity to loudness, your previous amplification use, etc....I would recommend you discuss this with an experienced, trusted audiology... Read more

Why are "in-the-ear" hearing aids skin colored? It makes them look like a phone from 20 years ago.

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Matthew Pearson
If you look at the inside of the aid (if the shell is clear) you can see all the wiring & components. If the faceplate were also to be transparent it would probably look quite unsightly.I often have patients choose a different shell colour ie white for the right for easy identification but if a mini canal device with twin mics is fitted it can cover... Read more

Will Oticon release a microphone like the Resound multimic for the Oticon Opn?

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Matthew Pearson
To answer the question, at the moment: no. With regard to The Connect Clip which should be coming later in the year (will connect the Opn's to Android phones) Oticon's tech department are currently unsure if will have built in mic but it may do. You can currently use the mic on the iPhone as a remote mic. You start "live listen" it works like & phone... Read more

I have single-sided deafness. What are the differences between the Widex CROS, Phonak CROS, and Signia CROS hearing aids?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
I have quite a bit of experience with CROS technology and single-sided deafness, having conducted four separate studies and individual assessments of unique products when they've been introduced.  So, I'd like to actually present a brief history on CROS technology to serve as a foundation for my recommendations.CROS technology has actually existed for a... Read more

I'm considering a MED-EL cochlear implant. What is best hearing aid to wear with it?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
While the MED-EL cochlear implant is a good product, it does not currently have a partner hearing aid company that is compatible.  If having compatibility between technology is something that is important to you, you may want to consider the other implant companies that are out there.  Both Cochlear Americas and Advanced Bionics have partner companies,... Read more

I'm suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss of maybe 10-20%. Would the Oticon Nera2 would help me?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
It is a good device. A hearing aid will not only improve your hearing acquity but will also have the added benefit of masking the tinnitus noise giving yu some relief from the symptom of tinnius. Raji Parangad'My Audiologist"

How long do rechargeable hearing aid batteries last? Do they need to be replaced frequently?

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Matthew Pearson
The Z-Power battery used in Unitron & Starkey devices among others should be changed once a year.If you have forgotten to charge them one advantage is that you can change them for regular zinc-air batteries.The lithium-ion battery used by Phonak should last according to Phonak 4 years before your notice any reduction in performance. If you have... Read more

Does the Signia Pure 13 BT primax work with Apple Watch Series 2?

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Lee Oreskovich
The Signia Pure 13 BT Primax does not work with the Apple Watch Series 2 currently. There are other products that do however this one is not compatible.

Does Resound LiNX 3D work with the Resound Relief tinnitus app?

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Matthew Pearson
The LiNX 3D range features Tinnitus Sound Generator with nature sounds.The tinnitus feature is activated in the Resound Smart 3D app which is the latest version.You click the sound enhancer feature then hit the tinnitus manager button. You can then shape the response of the white noise to help mask your tinnitus & save this particular setting.If you... Read more

I am considering upgrading from the Resound Verso to the Resound LiNX2 962. How much improvement can I expect in noisy situations, without using the remote mic or iPhone app?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Better processing speed means better speech discrimination in nosie . It will be  a plus. 

Does Oticon Opn work with Android phones?

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Matthew Pearson
Currently, the answer is yes and no!Using the On app the Opn's can be turned up and down and any additional programs which have been set up for the hearing aids will be accessible.If the programs have been renamed in the programming software that is how they will appear in the app.The Opn's are a Made For iPhone (MFI) aid.iPhone's can use the special low... Read more

I have reverse slope hearing loss. I have a pair of Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids. My audiologist does not seem to know how best to program them. I still have problems with speech in noise. Any suggestions?

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Keith Lam, BSc
Noise is inherently low frequency.  If you have reverse slope loss and your hearing aid is programmed with too much low frequencies, that would interfere with your clarity for speech understanding, especially in noisy situation.  I would try to increase the mid frequencies and lower the low frequencies, as you probably would have enough high frequencies... Read more

Where can I donate hearing aids?

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Megan Carter, AuD
Many local Audiology and Hearing Aid offices will accept donated hearing aids as well. However, in order to receive a tax deductible letter for the donation, you must donate to a non-profit entity. 

Sometimes my Resound LiNX 7 suddenly disconnects and then immediately restarts. Instead of hearing the expected 10 short beeps (10 secs) before connecting, it plays 10 DOUBLE BEEPS (beep beep) before completing connection. Why?

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
The double beeps you hear indicate you've put your devices in airplane mode. This typically happens when you open and shut your battery doors two times in a short time period (ie. less than 2 minutes). When they're in airplane mode, you won't be able to connect them wirelessly to your cell phone or accessories. To get them out of airplane mode, wait five... Read more

What range of hearing loss is the Signia Silk hearing aid appropriate for?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
According to documentation provided by Signia, the Silk hearing aid is appropriate people with normal to moderately-severe hearing loss in the lower pitches and up to severe hearing loss in the higher pitches.Please refer to our page for the Signia Silk hearing aid. We have the Silk technical data PDF, which contains the fitting range of the product, and... Read more

We are considering a behind the ear hearing aid for my adult son with special needs. There are times he removes his glasses and we're concerned that it might be an issue. What suggestions do you have for wearing both hearing aids and glasses?

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Mark Conradt, AuD
How old is your son? Does he have a headband connected to his glasses? Generally glasses do not present a problem. Thin bows are better than wide thick bows. On some occasions you can have your optometrist take a look and maybe make adjustments to his bows. Also, I have seen some parents use a small amount of Velcro. Oto Clips are available through... Read more

What is "Hidden Hearing Loss" and how is it treated?

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Todd Gibson, AuD
Hidden Hearing Loss is the term used to desribe a condition where someone exhibits difficulty hearing where the typical hearing test, the audiogram, does not indicate an actual hearing deficit.  More commonly, a person with Hidden Hearing Loss may have difficulty hearing in noise and may perform perfectly well in quiet listening situations.  The proposed... Read more

Does the Linx2 61 have FM capabilities?

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Julie Norin, AuD
The Linx 2 61 products do not have FM capability, but they are capable to connecting to a multi-mic accessory, which can be used in a similar manner (via Bluetooth). For example, in a classroom setting, the student would wear the hearing aids and hand the multi-mic to the teacher. The hearing aids must be placed in "streaming mode" for the mic, with a... Read more

Just got new hearing aids today. How many hours a day should I wear them to begin with?

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Lynda Clark, AuD
Ideally, you should follow the advice of your hearing healthcare provider concerning a wearing schedule. Infrequent use of your hearing aids in unlikely to result in successful long-term use. The goal should be to wear your hearing aids for most, if not, all of your waking hours. How quickly you achieve this goal will vary. Some individuals are able to... Read more

What analog hearing aids are currently available? I have severe hearing loss and digital aids aren't working for me.

Scot frink
Christopher S. Frink, MS
Unfortunately, there aren't really any analog hearing aids available from major, reliable manufacturers.  I've had a few patients with similar situations to that presented here, where they are used to analog technology and can't get used to the sound quality of digital.  Because of this, I've polled the major manufacturers, and none of them make analog... Read more

I have mild to moderate hearing loss and tinnitus, and want a rechargeable hearing aid. What would be a good hearing aid for me?

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Julie Norin, AuD
There are a few different options available by the following manufacturers: Signia (formerly Siemens) Cellion (come at top two levels of technology), Phonak Audeo BR (available at all levels of technology), Starkey Muse (all price points), and Unitron (have not yet worked with those last two particular products due to our preference for the first two I... Read more

How do I pair the Starkey Halo 2 i2400 with the iPhone 7? I am having trouble.

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Julie Norin, AuD
Starkey instructions are as follows: Pairing should be done after the hearing aids have been programmed in the Inspire Software.Pairing Halo to an Apple Device1. Navigate to the Settings icon on the Apple device2. Select General > Accessibility > Hearing Aids3. If Bluetooth is turned Off on this screen, turn it On4. Open and close the battery door... Read more

Which hearing aids reproduce music cleanly with no artefacts or distortion?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
As others have indicated here, having instruments with the widest dynamic range is important, particularly in the input limit of the microphones.  Hearing aid microphones have a general input range of 115dB, but they can't always utilize the entire range depending on how they are otherwise utilizing other features in the instruments (i.e. noise... Read more

I currently wear Phonak Audeo Q aids and need to purchase a new cell phone. Current phone (4s) has EasyCall attachment; inconsistent connection with EZCall. Audeo Q does not work well at all with the iPhones I've tried (6, 6s). Suggestions?

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Matthew Pearson
I have just spoken with Phonak about this very issue. A patient's Android connection to her ComPilot is rock solid but her iPhone tends to disconnect regularly.Apparently there isn't a great answer iPhones do disconnect from time to time.A ComPilot (a neck worn remote/streaming device) with an Android Phone may be a better solution (with an MC1 lapel mic... Read more

My 9-year-old daughter just got over an ear infection, she has been finished her antibiotics for 2 days but she is still having trouble hearing through one ear. She says she has a constant ringing. Should I be getting it checked or is that normal?

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Cole Campbell, AuD
It's possible she may still have fluid in her middle ear even if it is not infected which would explain her "trouble hearing" and possibly the ringing as well. I would have her hearing checked by an audiologist who could easily determine if there is still middle ear fluid and how much, if any, hearing loss she has as a result of the fluid.

What is the best Personal Sound Amplification Device?

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Mark Butler, AAS
Short answer is that there are no "best" personal sound amplification devices.  These units are designed to simply amplify all the incoming sound at a consistent level across the entire frequency range.  If you have a very flat mild hearing loss then a PSAD might be of some benefit.  However, very few people have that type of hearing loss.  I have talked... Read more

How far into the canal do I push the little rubber umbrella on my RIC hearing aid?

What are the pros and cons of Phonak's ComPilot, ComPilot II and ComPilot Air II?

Which hearing aid is the best for a person who is about 65 years old?

Does the Phonak Brio address speech intelligibility?

Are hearing aids from the VA locked?

Are there any rechargeable hearing aids that fit right in the ear?

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Steve Eagon, MA
While there are numerous options for re-chargeable behind-the-ear hearing aids today, there is one option to consider if you are looking for a discreet in-the-canal solution. Eargo Plus is a hearing aid sold through its website. It is designed for people who have mild-to-moderate high frequency hearing loss and includes full support from a team of... Read more

What are the upgrades from Phonak Brio R-312T?

Does the Kirkland Signature 7 connect directly to Bluetooth (TV) or does it need the Smart Connect accessory?

What is the difference between the Starkey Muse 312 and the 312t?

Are the voyage hearing aids from CVS locked? Or can they be adjusted elsewhere?