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

Kristen Armstrong, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

10 January 2017 - 12.8K Views

It depends on the style and brand of hearing aids.  

If you are wearing in the ear hearing aids, there are cups that can be attached to the stethescope that cover the hearing aid rather than pushing in on it.  

If you are wearing a hearing aid that has a t-coil or can communicate wirelessly with one of the manufacturers accessories that has an audio input option (ie. Widex Uni-Dex, Phonak ComPilot or ComPilot II, Oticon Streamer or Streamer Pro, etc), then a Think Labs stethescope is the best answer.  Think labs stethescope has an audio jack that you can plug the manufacturer accessory or a T-coil neck loop into and the sound will stream wirelessly into the hearing aids.

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Professional Member
Professional Member 30 August 2018

Have you tried the "suction cup looking" attachments?

About as useful as...........  Gimme a sec.  I'm thinkin.     

 Naw.   Useless.  Just throw them away

Member
Member 15 January 2019
I have to take several blood pressures in a row as I work in a cardiac rehab gym. I will be getting RIC hearing aids soon (probably Audeo Marvel Rechargeable).  Any suggestions as to what type of “tips” may work on my stethoscope so that I can still hear BP’s well enough but it does not push the HA into my ear and scratch it.  I took my stethoscope with me to my audiology appt. and tried it with the hearing aids in, and the audiologist said after a few minutes that it was scratching the inside of my ear, because the HA was being pushed on.  My hearing is fine with a stethoscope, but it is the conversation in the room that I cannot hear, because of all the background noise from cardio machines, and music playing. Any suggestions?

Sara Nagel, AuD

Audiologist

10 January 2017 - 12.9K Views

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 professional to remove their hearing aids in order to use the stethoscope.  My patients who use it report best sound quality compared to other amplified stethoscopes, with no (curcuit?) static noise which interferes with sounds of auscultation.  Another nice feature of the Think Labs Stethoscope is that it can also be paired with an iPhone or iPad and send a visual recording of the ausculation sounds for later review by the medical professional.  It is available online or via Oaktree Products.  

Check out this video of one my patients describing her experience with the Think Labs Stethoscope.

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Amy S
Amy S 10 January 2017
Good information. Thanks for sharing.

Veronica Heide

Professional Member

11 January 2017 - 12.8K Views

Questions I would ask before making a recommendation are: "Is this sound audible without amplification to the patient's ears?"  Will they need amplification in this frequency range?  Will they benefit from including visual information." The sound of a heartbeat through a stethoscope is between 20-180 Hz.  I would test the hearing of your patient at 125 Hz to see where their threshold lies and that will help determine which options will work well (auditory, visual, amplified). Keep in mind that the frequency response of most hearing aids is very limited in the low frequencies and you may need to have the patienswitch to the "Music" setting to extend the low frequency range of the hearing instruments to make these low frequency sounds more audible through amplification systems and their accessories.  The ThinkLabs stethoscope is a wonderful tool and I always recommend it when appropriate.  I also recommend several of the apps that allow health practitioners and their patients to visually display the cardiac and respiratory auscultation.  New technology is available that combines a stethoscope with an electrocardiogram so practitioners can listen and watch heart rhythm simultaneously. 

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Kellie Phillips

Hearing Healthcare Provider

10 January 2017 - 12.8K Views

There are 2 important considerations when trying to find the right stethoscope and hearing aid interface solution. One is the individuals level of hearing loss. And the other is the hearing aid they currently use. Cic for example find too much pressure against the hearing aid itself. Many remove their aid and use a amplified stethoscope. In the ear same thing. They remove the aid same as Cic wearers. Bte those wearers have more of a significant loss so to me the best option have a behind the ear to use a full power aid and it will interface better with a stethoscope. For example Bte wearer can use a silhouette that provides an induction signal for hearing aid telecoil. Another option is to use a direct audio input cable to connect the hearing aid and audio boot to the output of a electronic stethoscope. I could go on and on but hopefully this information is helpful. For education purposes.
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Doctor of Audiology in Novato

10 June 2017 - 12.3K Views

I have fit two patients with Resound Linx2 hearing aids using the Multi-Mic accessory. Both of these patients already had amplified stethoscopes that used headphones. We simply patched the audio output from the amplifier into the Multi-Mic. They then velcroed the Multi-Mic to the amplifier unit for convenience and just enable the Multi-Mic via buttons on the hearing aids. Both patients are nurses and love the convenience. One comment was that the heart sounds are a bit different as they don't get the same low frequency content but they were able to adjust to utilizing the new sound.

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

11 January 2017 - 12.8K Views

There are many great answers so far from Audiologists who talk about the style of your hearing aids and ask about what type of sounds you are listening for through the stethoscope, as that will affect the recommendation.  To help you obtain some more information, there is a great blog that is dedicated to Amplified Stethoscope at Oaktree Products: https://www.oaktreeproducts.com/amp-steth-solutions  This may help you and your Audiologist find the right solution for your hearing needs, your listening needs, and your hearing devices. 

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Hearing Healthcare Provider in Portland

10 January 2017 - 12.9K Views

You'll need a little rubber piece that attaches to the stethascope tube.  Please that little boot over the end of the mold/dome/speaker until it's completely sealed.  Then listen.  What do you hear? Enjoy the sounds. It's kinda fun. :-)

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Member
Member 16 November 2017
Do you have a weblink to order these pieces? Thanks! sharonmarsoun@hotmail.com
Member
Member 29 January 2019

Where can you find this product?

Tanya Helms

Discussion

Member
Member 05 April 2018
This may sound crazy, but if you can bluetooth a stethoscope to a phone, can it Bluetooth to hearing aids directly?
Professional Member
Professional Member 30 August 2018 Replied to Member

One would think. huh?  

I'm finally getting my hearing aids, and having a hell of a time finding difinitive answers to the question, Why can't the stethoscope connect directly to the hearing aids

Member
Member 26 September 2018
That's what I'm looking for too ... a stethoscope that pairs directly to my hearing aids.  Adding another interface sounds like a pain to me.
Member
Member 04 January 2019 Replied to Member
That’s exactly what I am looking for as well. I am a NICU nurse and often need to hear equal breath sounds, or HR in an emergency situation during a code or delivery resucitation. Too inconvenient to rip out my hearing aids to be able to hear well enough with a stethoscope but then can’t hear what other team members are saying (often very quietly for HIPPA reasons or at a delivery!)  I have lost my hearing aids at work because I took them out quickly and didn’t get them securely in my pocket!   Desperate for a solution. I’m getting opticon Bluetooth hearing aids next week, replacing my first pair that were Persona. 
Member
Member 15 October 2018
My audiologist thought that my Oticon-Opn bluetooth hearing aids would work with the ThinkLabs electronic scope. We thought that I could wear a little receiver around my neck and that it would then send the sound directly to my aids. Turns out that they aren't compatible for that. I have to use a separate pair of headphones with the awkward cable going to the scope. Constantly being asked about them. 
Member
Member 03 April 2019
I just had Lyric hearing aids placed in my ears and thought I would be able to hear better through my stethoscope but I can barely hear heart or breath sounds.  I can hear scratching on the diaphragm, though.  Any thoughts?
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