David Mason R.H.A.D Hearing Aid Audiologist Ampleforth, York.    Tel: 0800 612 7 812
0800 612 7812

David has now retired and has
handed over the business to
Mr Robert Donnan RHAD.

Please be assured that his service and commitment to his clients are in direct parallel with our own. He has recently opened a branch in Fulford, York and has a number of other highly useful resources that you may find useful in the future. This includes Micro suction.

You can have every confidence in his service and I'm delighted to say that he always treats people with consideration and commitment. If you are interested in the latest hearing instruments he will only be too pleased to organise a free trial.

David Mason - August 2016

www.rjdhearingcare.co.uk

York Hearing Practice, 92 Main Street, Fulford, YORK YO10 4PS

Freephone 0800 612 7812



My Articles

Hearing Aid Types...
Are These The Smallest And Smartest?

It’s hard to imagine people showing off their new hearing
aid to their friends.

Phonak Of course, it was generally realised that hearing aids had great benefits, but wearing one was a completely different issue – a sign that the ageing process was becoming visible to others. Not only that, but they were often accompanied by whistling and general fiddling, further advertising that one was being worn.

All that has now changed...

The hearing aid industry has changed radically; emphasising not only sound quality, but also the cosmetic appeal as never before. Traditionally, hearing aids have been worn either behind the ear (with a mould and 2mm tubing joining the two) or in the ear itself, enabling the electronics and controls to be fitted without an external device. This, in itself, was a major boost to the perception of a hearing aid; introduced around 15 years ago. However, a particular type is now hitting the headlines - the start of a new generation called the ‘Receiver-In-The-Canal’.

The first prototype models were introduced about five years ago and took the industry by storm. Providing smart engineering design, advanced computer programs and even a choice of colour; however, the major feature is that the actual speaker rests in the ear canal, separated by an extremely discreet hair thin wire that is connected to a powerful processor cleverly hidden in the hairline.

So what are the benefits?

There are some very welcome benefits for the hard of hearing wearer, as the efficiency is far greater. This is because the sound produced is only a short distance from the eardrum itself, making speech quality more mellow and distinct. In the old style of hearing aid, the sound could very easily distort and create unwanted harmonics – one of the reasons why so many end up in the drawer.

Not only that, but talk to anybody with a hearing aid and they’ll tell you how uncomfortable they can be – firstly a mould is taken, and whether it is an ‘in the ear’ or a ‘behind the ear’ version it still feels like a lump of hard plastic in a part of your body that was designed to be flexible. These new hearing aids do not require a mould, and the speaker is clothed in a comfortable flexible dome that comes in three sizes. These are also fully vented, which means that you don’t get any annoying ‘head in a bucket’ effects when speaking. There is also no feedback, as the software can totally eliminate this problem.

Like everything, hearing aids can go wrong, with the most susceptible part to any system being the receiver itself – this may be for a variety of reasons; the most common being wax or moisture ingestion, meaning the hearing aid has to go back to the manufacturer for treatment. This obviously means a not insignificant delay, and inconvenience to the wearer and their family! With this new style the receiver can be replaced very easily by the hearing aid audiologist ‘on the kitchen table’. No delays, no inconvenience and a remarkably quick repair.

They are reprogrammable, which means that in the event of a change of hearing, the settings can be altered to suit the client’s present audiological readings. Some of these hearing aids also have an inbuilt audiometer (a device for testing hearing) which means that the hearing aid audiologist can carry out an accurate hearing test on every visit, thereby ensuring that the aid is always performing at peak efficiency.

The fitting range (the degree of hearing loss with which the hearing aid is effective) is impressive too, with some devices being able to cope quite easily with an 80dB hearing loss. After reprogramming, the only other requirement may be a modification to the actual dome on the receiver, which simply means an impression is taken of the canal resulting in a transparent mould that fits snugly on to the existing speaker assembly. One of the models’ unique features is that the longevity and reserve values (the capability to operate with significant further hearing loss) are far higher than traditional hearing aids, resulting in fewer (often quite expensive) replacement systems.

Because there is no need for a mould to be taken, the fitting times can be drastically reduced. A measurement is taken to ascertain the length of the actual wire – a decision is made on the appropriate colour, which can vary from a natural grey to bright green depending on the client’s attitude towards cosmetics. The instrument can either be set up to operate automatically (most people prefer this), or can be provided with a remote volume control for specific listening situations.

Even this remote control is clever, as it records the user input so that the hearing aid dispenser can form a clinical judgement as to the client’s needs and requirements. Ever heard of the black box in an aeroplane? Well, you have something similar in these devices. It records data, including hours worn and volume preferences, so that an informed judgement that enables the final sound to be customised to the client’s individual requirements.

The times, they are a-changin’...

There is no doubt that the acceptability and recognition of significant hearing improvement is extremely high with these instruments, and, as most manufacturers now produce a range of these models, this choice has made the decision to wear a professionally fitted hearing system far easier. There is also a trend among ‘Baby Boomers’ who are spreading the word to their parents and, in turn, are now telling their friends quite unashamedly that they are wearing a hearing aid, and finally enjoying the benefits of hearing once again.



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