How to Find a GREAT Hearing Care Provider | Doctor Cliff AuD Approved Provider NetworkHow to Find a GREAT Hearing Care Provider | Doctor Cliff AuD Approved Provider Network. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the launch of the Dr. Cliff AuD Approved Provider Network.
My Website: https://www.DrCliffAuD.com
Best Practice Checklists: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10UX_OJooqjQxAy7OUtS1CCChJQ5QO6cB/view?usp=sharing
Success with hearing treatment depends on a lot more than just how good your hearing aids are. Success with hearing treatment ultimately depends on how well those hearing aids have been fit and programmed by your hearing care professional. In order to receive the full amount of benefit from hearing aids, your hearing care professional needs to follow Best Practices. Just like any medical profession, there are specific guidelines that must be followed to maximize your treatment outcomes. If those guidelines are ignored, your treatment will suffer as a result.
If you follow my Doctor Cliff, AuD YouTube channel regularly, then you already know that there are more important factors than just hearing aids, called Best Practices, that will determine how much benefit you will get with hearing aids. You also know that I have very little tolerance for hearing care professionals who refuse to follow Best Practices when evaluating, prescribing, and fitting hearing aids. This is precisely what they should be doing as professionals in the hearing healthcare industry.
Fortunately, individuals just like yourself, are beginning to demand a higher quality of care from hearing care professionals, and you're starting to ask the right questions instead of just asking for the newest latest and greatest hearing aid.
The problem is, it is nearly impossible to identify if a hearing care provider follows Best Practices, especially since all published industry data suggests that very few hearing care professionals actually perform them on a regular basis. This is precisely why I started the Dr. Cliff AuD Approved Provider Network. Instead of me telling you what things to look for in a hearing care provider, I just decided to do the hard work for you by creating a Network of professionals who follow Best Practices. Not just some of them....all of them.
Basically I took all of the Best Practice Guidelines for the Audiologic Management of Adult Hearing Impairment, and created a series of Best Practice Checklists and added some additional criteria to ensure your best interests are Priority #1. Not only do these hearing care providers have to follow best practices, they have to agree to the following as well:
1. They have to agree to be a Fiduciary and only act in your best interest.
2. They must have the ability to offer, at a minimum, two different brands of hearing aids to prevent manufacturer bias.
3. They cannot dispense locked hearing aids.
4. They must send calibration records to ensure they have the equipment necessary to perform all of these best practices.
Once completing my Provider Webinar on https://www.AudiologyAcademy.com and pass my exam with a 100% score. Following this, providers can submit an application which I will personally evaluate to ensure they meet all Network Requirements. Then, following an interview with me, a determination will be made if they will be allowed in the Network. These providers will pay an Annual Membership fee which will help to create more informational video content on Best Practices for consumers.
To find a Doctor Cliff AuD Approved Provider near you, go to my website www.DrCliffAud.com , and Click on the “Find A Provider” tab in the menu bar. This will bring up a Provider Locator Map where you can search for a Dr. Cliff Approved Provider in your area. New providers are being added each week so if you don’t find one in your area yet, check back often. Then, print off the Best Practice Checklists to take with you to your appointment. Each Approved Provider will check off each item on the checklist and sign it when completed with your appointment, giving you confidence that every Best Practice has been taken into account when treating you with hearing aids.
Even if you don't find a Dr. Cliff AuD Approved Provider near you, I would still highly recommend printing off the Best Practice checklists and take them into whatever hearing care professional you decide to see. Ultimately, my goal is to help you identify a provider who follows these Best Practices so you can get the hearing treatment that you truly deserve. After all, if you are going to spend your hard earned money on hearing aids, you might as well get what you pay for, since you may pay the same amount of money whether you receive Best Practices or not.
When Normal Sounds are Painfully LOUD! | HyperacusisWhen Normal Sounds are Painfully LOUD due to Sound Sensitivity! | Hyperacusis. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses a rare hearing condition that makes normal sounds too loud.
Just imagine if common everyday sounds, including conversations with family and friends, or something as simple as closing a door, were uncomfortably loud to the point where you basically lived your life trying to avoid any sound at all. Well, this is exactly what it is like when you have a condition called Hyperacusis.
According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, Hyperacusis is a rare hearing disorder that causes sounds, which would otherwise seem normal to most people, to be unbearably loud. The Hyperacusis Network reports that 1 in 50,000 individuals suffer from Hyperacusis and 1 in 1,000 individuals with tinnitus also have Hyperacusis. Just to be clear, Hyperacusis is not "better than normal hearing" or discomfort with loud sounds. It is also not Misophonia which is a strong dislike or negative emotional reaction to very specific sounds, like nails on a chalkboard, or people chewing food. Nor is it Phonophobia which is a Fear of a specific sound.
When it comes to sound tolerance, a normal hearing ear can hear a wide range of sounds from rustling leaves to a guitar at a rock concert. For almost everyone, sounds around 120 decibels. Generally, you realize a sound is too loud before it reaches a painful level and that "comfortable" loudness level varies from person to person. Most individuals with Hyperacusis, typically have normal hearing yet find everyday sounds like care engines, rustling paper, and dishes clanking, to be uncomfortably loud.
A major cause of Hyperacusis is loud noise exposure that can be a result of a single brief incident of noise such as a gunshot or airbag deployment in a car crash. A few years ago a teenage girl named Cindy Redmond from Wilmington Deleware thrust Hyperacusis into the national spotlight when her friend's stepfather blasted an air horn next to her ear which exceeded 130 decibels. This resulted in debilitation Hyperacusis for Cindy. Preventing her from living a normal life because she is constantly needing to avoid sound. You can donate to her Hyperacusis research fund here: https://fundraise.hyperacusisresearch.org/give/114588/#!/donation/checkout
Even if you are exposed to steady state noise for a long period of time, you can still get Hyperacusis. Therefore, it is critical to use hearing protection any time you are in noise. Hyperacusis can significantly impact your overall quality of life because it can also cause fear, anxiety, social isolation, depression, insomnia, and lack of concentration.
If you suspect you have Hyperacusis, you need to consult with an Audiologist and have a Comprehensive Auditory Evaluation. For some individuals, your tinnitus may get better on it's own. For other individuals, treatment may be recommended.
The first treatment option is Sound Therapy. This is when you gradually introduce auditory stimulation at higher and higher levels to diminish your sensitivity over time. Second, is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This focuses on restructuring negative reactions and regaining control of the condition. Third is other experimental therapies. Therapies including Biofeedback, Acupuncture, and other relaxation techniques may also provide some relief.
However, treatment becomes even more complicated when an individual with hearing loss has Hyperacusis at the same time. In these cases, treatment may require using an ear mold to attenuate sound entering the ear canal and provide gentle amplification at the same time. Over time, your brain may gradually increase its tolerance for sound.
No matter the treatment solution, it is imperative that you work with a team of professionals that are trained and knowledgeable about hyperacusis. Treatment should be personalized to you specifically, and you should understand that it will take time to experience relief. Hyperacusis can be extremely debilitating, but it doesn't have to be that way forever. So if you think you have Hyperacusis, the best thing you could possibly do is see an Audiologist to get you some relief.
Manual vs. Automatic Hearing Aid Programs | Phonak AutoSense 3.0Manual vs. Automatic Hearing Aid Programs | Phonak AutoSense 3.0. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses how Automatic programs have improved your performance in different listening situations.
Unless you just sit on a couch all day watching television, you probably encounter a variety of different listening environments. Each of which typically require different hearing aid program settings to maximize your hearing performance. For instance, if you are in the comfort of your own home, it is probably relatively quiet. In this situation, you would likely do best in a hearing aid program that picks up sound from 360 degrees.
Then, if you go for a ride in a car, you would probably do better in a program specifically designed to reduce road noise and enhance the speech of the other passengers in the car or the car radio. Then, if you arrive at a restaurant and sit down at your table, you would need a program that is capable of reducing background noise and focusing on the speech of the other people at your table.
Fortunately, programs in today's hearing aids are better than ever at maximizing your hearing performance in these specific situations. The problem is, not everyone is good at changing their own programs. In fact, I would venture to say that most hearing aid users have no idea what program they are in half of the time, nor do they know which programs are best for each specific listening environment.
This is where automatic programs, like the ones in Phonak's AutoSense OS 3.0 have made things significantly easier for hearing aid users. Just like the name suggests the AutoSense Operating System automatically senses your environment and places you in the best program settings for that environment. AutoSense OS 3.0 has up to 7 different program settings designed to accommodate a variety of listening environments.
First is the Calm Situation program. This is where the hearing aids are picking up sound from 360 degrees.
Second is the Speech in Noise program. This is when you go into a noisy environment, like a restaurant, and the hearing aid switches into settings to help reduce background noise and focus on speech of those at your table by narrowing the microphone pickup range.
Third is the Speech in Loud Noise Program. This is when you are in an extremely noisy environment and the hearing aids switch into settings for maximum noise reduction, and narrow microphone pickup range.
Fourth is the Speech in Car program. In this program, your hearing aids identify that you are in a car and switch you into program settings that maximize speech understanding in the car.
Fifth is Comfort in noise, which reduces overall amplification because the hearing aids don’t identify any speech directed toward you.
Sixth is Comfort in Echo, which reduces the negative impact from reverberation and echo, which can be one of the most difficult listening situations for hearing aid wearers.
And Seventh is the Music program. This program can sense the harmonics of music and switch you into settings that reduce the amount of digital features that could distort music sound quality.
Basically, it means that you don't have to worry about adjusting manual programs because Phonak hearing aids do this for you. Not only does this make things easier for you, it reduces the errors associated with picking the wrong manual program for the environment that you are in. So the next time you are discussing hearing aid features with your hearing care provider, make sure you ask them if your hearing aids have automatic programs, so instead of focusing on changing your programs, you can instead focus on enjoying those moments with your family and friends.
Similarities Between Scout Snipers & Audiologists Who Fit Hearing AidsSimilarities Between Scout Snipers & Audiologists Who Fit Hearing Aids. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the similarities between Marine Corps Scout Snipers and Audiologists.
Hearing Review Article: http://www.hearingreview.com/2018/06/cortical-neuroplasticity-hearing-loss-matters-clinical-decision-making-children-adults/
As many of you know, I spent 4 years serving in the United States Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006. One of my Military Occupational Specialties or MOS, was 8541 which is a Marine Corps Scout Sniper. When most people find this out, they are shocked because I do not fit the typical mold of a Marine, let alone a Scout Sniper. After all, I weigh about 40 lbs. less than I did when I was on Active Duty.
After overcoming their shock, they usually ask how I went from being a Sniper to an Audiologist since they couldn't be more different from each other. Usually, I respond with, "there are more similarities between being a Sniper and being an Audiologist than you may think, especially when it comes to fitting hearing aids".
Here are the 4 biggest Similarities between Scout Snipers and Audiologists:
1. They both require a team effort - Snipers operate in two man teams and the Spotter is the one who is making most of the distance, wind, and elevation calls for the sniper to help him get and stay on target. This requires very good communication.
This is very similar to the communication that is required between a patient and an audiologist. Without good communication, an audiologist would not be capable of selecting the best hearing aid, or custom fitting that hearing aid very well to the patient.
2. You MUST follow the Fundamentals - When it comes to shooting, fundamentals are absolutely critical. Things such as firing during your natural respiratory pause, and a slow steady trigger squeeze are extremely important if you want to hit your target.
There are a laundry list of Fundamentals in Audiology that we call "Best Practices". These are specific procedures that must be followed if we want to maximize hearing aid benefit. Ignore the fundamentals, and you risk not achieving the highest level of performance possible, which in my book, is completely unacceptable. To print off the Best Practice Checklists click this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10UX_OJooqjQxAy7OUtS1CCChJQ5QO6cB/view?usp=sharing
3. You must execute Best Practices with Precision - To be a great Sniper, you have to be meticulous. This means when it comes to things like shooting, you have to execute the fundamentals with extreme precision otherwise you could miss your target and then the good guys may be the ones who die.
When it comes to fitting hearing aids, precision is critical to maximize performance. Take Real Ear Measurement for instance. This is a method used to custom program hearing aids to ensure that the amount of amplification you receive is matching your prescriptive targets. If you don't do this Fundamental Best Practice with precision, it can have detrimental effects on your overall performance with hearing aids. To learn more about Real Ear Measurements click this link: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
4. Patience - Being a Sniper usually is not like you see in the movies. A realistic Sniper movie would be about 72 hours long with about 99% of the time watching the sniper laying there looking through his scope at an observation area, and reporting back to their command center. Very rarely would you see them take a shot at a high-value target. While all of this is critically important to a mission's success, it requires an extraordinary amount of patience.
When it comes to hearing aid fittings, the fitting, programming, and training, are the fun parts. The majority of the work comes from wearing the hearing aids consistently. Research has started to show that the brain actually changes where it processes sound resulting in better auditory and cognitive performance.
There you go, those are the 4 biggest similarities between a Scout Sniper and an Audiologist. So the next time you are watching a movie about a Sniper, just remember to think about your audiologist.
8 Hearing Red Flags That Should TRIGGER a Physician Referral8 Red Flags That Should TRIGGER a Physician Referral from an Audiologist. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the eight FDA red flags that should result in a referral to an Otolaryngologist (aka ENT) after a Hearing Test.
While a comprehensive hearing evaluation with an Audiologist or Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist should be your first thought if you are experiencing Hearing Loss, not all hearing or ear related issues can be addressed by these types of providers. That's why there are 8 Red Flags indicated by the FDA that should trigger a referral to a licensed physician, preferably an Otolaryngologist (aka ENT).
Red Flag #1 - Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.
Red Flag #2 - History of active drainage from the ear within the past 90 days.
Red Flag #3 - History of Sudden or Rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.
Red Flag #4 - Acute or Chronic Dizziness.
Red Flag #5 - A Unilateral Hearing Loss of Sudden or Recent onset within the previous 90 days
Red Flag #6 - Audiometric Air-Bone Gap equal to or greater than 15 decibels at 500Hz, 1,000Hz, and 2,000 Hz.
Red Flag #7 - Visible evidence of significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.
Red Flag #8 - Pain or Discomfort in the ear.
Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant | New CI Connect for Bluetooth and 3D Implant Magnet!Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant | New CI Connect for Bluetooth and 3D Implant Magnet! Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and Founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses Advanced Bionics' CI Connect accessory for Bluetooth with a Naida CI, and new 3D Implant Magnet that can be used in up to a 3 Tesla MRI machine!
Advanced Bionics, the manufacturer of the Naida Q90 Cochlear Implant, has recently made a few nice additions to their already impressive Cochlear Implant & Naida Processor. Originally, the Advanced Bionics T-Mic, the microphone that hangs in-front of your ear, was originally intended to improve microphone placement when using the telephone. While it did do this and do it well, using Bluetooth to stream directly from a cell phone is an even better option.
While the T-Mice remains, due to it's ability to utilize the power of the Pinna Effect, Advanced Bionics has developed the CI Connect to allow it's Naida processor to connect to any Bluetooth device. This means that you will be able to stream audio from nearly any Bluetooth device. This includes Phone Calls, Podcasts, Audio books, and YouTube Videos.
The CI Connect is a tiny little attachment that can be placed on the bottom of any 170 battery, and converts your Naida Q90 into a Bluetooth Processor. Just pair it with your phone, or other Bluetooth enabled device, and you're all set. On phone calls, it picks up your voice and sends it to the other person.
The CI Connect does have a few limitations. First, you can only stream to one ear at a time. Second, it doesn't have a smartphone app for you to use to change programs, volume, etc.
The other new product that Advanced Bionics has rolled out is their new 3D Magnet for their Hi RES Ultra 3D Cochlear Implant. This magnet lets you receive up to a 3.0 Tesla MRI without requiring a splint or the need to surgically remove the magnet before the MRI. The magnet is comprised of 4 rotatable magnet rods encased in a revolving disc that allow the magnet to provide alignment with the MRI field in all 3 dimensions.
The Magnet seems like a minor improvement to the Hi RES Ultra Cochlear Implant, but it is definitely worth while, especially if you find yourself needing an implant at some point in the future. However, while it is safe to do an MRI with the magnet in place, the magnet could still impede imaging capabilities in the are of the magnet.
Overall, the CI Connect and the Ultra 3D Magnet are both nice additions to the Advanced Bionics offerings and a LOT of AB users should be excited about these new features.
Causes of Meniere's Disease and Treatment Options | Meniere's Disease Cure?Causes of Meniere's Disease and Treatment Options. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses Meniere's disease and why it is such a bad condition to have.
At some point in your life, you have likely experienced dizziness. Now there are a variety of things that can give you the sensation of being dizzy, but one of the worst is a condition called Menieres disease. With Meniere's Disease, not only do you get dizzy, but it can also cause tinnitus, ear fullness, ear congestion, and fluctuating hearing loss.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, Menieres Disease affects over 600,000 people in the United States alone with over 45,000 new diagnoses each year. If you have ever had Vertigo, which is an episode of intense dizziness, combined with tinnitus, ear fullness, ear congestion, and fluctuating hearing loss.
Menieres disease usually affects only one ear but can progress to your other ear over time, and while the sensation of vertigo doesn't last forever, it can have a long-lasting effect on your hearing.
So what causes Menieres Disease? To understand exactly where the fluid buildup is occcuring, we have to understand the anatomy of the human ear. First, we have the outer ear which is the Pina and the Ear Canal.
Then we have the Middle ear which consists of the Eardrum, the 3 bones of hearing, known as the Ossicles, the Eustachian Tube, and the Middle ear Space.
The Inner ear consists of the Cochlea which is responsible for hearing, and the Semicircular Canals which are responsible for Balance.
Menieres Disease is thought to be related to a buildup of fluid in your Inner Ear. It is important to note that fluid buildup in the Inner ear is different than the fluid buildup in your Middle Ear which may be caused by an Ear Infection.
This buildup of fluid in the Inner Ear causes a disruption in how the cochlea, vestibular system, communicate with your brain. Which is why you typically have symptoms that involve Balance and Hearing at the same time.
In normal circumstances, your brain expects to receive similar information from both of your ears. It is this mismatch of signals between your affected ear and your non-affected ear that cause you to feel dizzy.
That being said, no one knows for sure exactly what causes Menieres Disease. Some researchers believe it could also be tied to blood vessel constriction, viral infections, allergies, autoimmune reactions, or genetic factors. Episodes of Menieres Disease may be triggered by being tired, emotional distress, dietary factors, and stress in general.
Menieres attacks can occur at random sometimes with several episodes in a short period of time, or in some cases, months between episodes. It is often diagnosed by an Ear, Nose & Throat Physician. It can occur at any age, but is most common in adults between the ages of 40-50 years old.
Since there is no Gold Standard test for Menieres disease, physicians typically look at your Medical History to identify symptoms such as two or more episodes of vertigo lasting 20 minutes each, an onset of "roaring" tinnitus, hearing loss in the low frequencies, and a feeling of aural or ear fullness. You physician will likely order some additional testing to support the diagnosis to include a hearing test, vestibular or balance testing, and even an MRI or CT scan to rule out other possible medical conditions.
When it comes to treating your dizziness, individuals typically manage these symptoms with medications and dietary changes. Medications prescribed by your physician may include Meclizine, Diazepam, & Lorazepam to reduce the effects of dizziness, nausea, and anxiety. They may also include a diuretic to reduce fluid buildup in the inner ear. Dietary modifications can include reducing the intake of salt, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol which can all trigger a Menieres attack. You may also benefit from vestibular rehabilitation administered by a specially trained physical therapist. Hearing loss and tinnitus symptoms can often be treated successfully with hearing aids by an audiologist once your hearing loss stabilizes.
Menieres Disese is no joke so if you ever experience dizziness or vertigo along with hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear fullness, make sure you see your physician right away so you can find a treatment solution that is right for you.
Where is Sound Coming From? | How Humans Use Sound LOCALIZATIONWhere is Sound Coming From? | How Humans Use Sound LOCALIZATION
Single Sided Deafness (SSD) Treatment Options: https://youtu.be/16LC2FYu1-U
At least once a week, I lose my phone somewhere in my house, and I have to ask my wife to call it so I can listen to the vibration. After about 3 or 4 tries, I can eventually locate my phone.
Obviously, your hearing plays a role in identifying where sound is coming from, and that process requires two ears. This process is called Localization. Localization utilizes Interaural Timing Differences, Interaural Level Differences, & Pinna Effects.
First, let's talk about Interaural Timing Differences or ITDs. This is the timing difference that it takes for sound to reach one ear vs the other ear. So, if you have a friend call out your name from your right side, your right ear will hear their voice first, followed by your left ear. This timing difference indicates to your brain that sound is coming from your right.
Second, lets talk about Interaural Level Differences or ILDs. This is the volume difference between both of your ears cause by distance and the Head Shadow Effect. The Head Shadow Effect is a phenomenon that happens when sound has to travel through and around your head before it can be heard by your opposite ear. By the time the sound reaches the opposite ear it is typically 6-7 dB SPL softer than it was in the ear that was on the side of the sound source. Much like Interaural Timing Differences, this indicates to your brain that sound is coming from the louder side.
This is why it is so critical to have two functioning ears to perform Localization of sound. So, if you have Single Sided Deafness or SSD, you will not have the ability to localize. This is true even if you treat your hearing loss with CROS or BiCROS. However, you may be able to achieve some localization with the use of a Cochlear Implant or AmpCROS.
Third, let's talk about Pinna Effects. The Pinna Effect allows you to better locate sound in the vertical plane. This can easily be demonstrated by having someone jingle a set of keys with your eyes closed. Typically, you will be able to identify the location pretty easily. However, if you contort the shape of your Pinna it can alter how the sound enters your ear and make it more difficult to identify where that sound is in your vertical plane.
There you go, now you know how we use Timing Differences, Level Differences, and Pinna Effects to Localize where sound is coming from. If you do have issues with our ability to Localize where sound is coming from, I highly recommend you have your hearing evaluated to determine if you have a hearing loss causing the issue.
Does My Child Have Hearing Loss? | Phonak Sky MarvelDoes My Child Have Hearing Loss? | Phonak Sky Marvel. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses a few things you should know if you suspect your child has hearing loss.
To Learn More: http://bit.ly/2B4gLTu
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in either One or Both ears and more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
Hospitals typically perform newborn hearing screenings within 48 hours after a child is born. If an infant fails the screening, they are typically tested again within a few weeks. All children should be screened for hearing loss no later than 1 month of age. If they fail the screening, they should have a hearing and medical evaluation no later than 3 months of age, Treated with hearing devices within one month of diagnosis, and receive early intervention services no later than 6 months of age.
However, not all hearing losses can be detected at birth. In some cases, hearing losses can have a delayed onset, be too mild to detect at birth, or be a temporary hearing loss. Temporary hearing losses can be caused by things like fluid or earwax. In some cases, these hearing losses can resolve themselves, but in other cases, they may require medical attention. This is why it is so important to seek medical care if you suspect your child is having difficulty hearing.
Permanent hearing loss is a hearing loss that can't be reversed by medical intervention. Children can experience permanent hearing loss due to genetic conditions, ear malformations, noise exposure, or viral infections among other things. If undetected at birth, hearing losses can reveal themselves by monitoring certain Speech & Hearing Milestones.
From Birth to 4 months old, your child should:
1. Startle at loud sounds
2. Respond to your voice
3. Calm down at the sound of your voice
From 4-6 months, your child should:
1. Move his or her eyes in the direction of sounds
2. Respond to changes in your tone of voice
3. Notice toys that make sounds
From 7 months to 1 year your child should:
1. Turn and look in the direction of sounds
2. Turn his or her head when you call
3. Respond to simple commands
4. Understand simple words like Car, Truck, Daddy & Mommy
From 1 year to 2 years, your child should:
1. Use many simple words
2. Listen to songs
3. Point to body parts when you ask
4. Point to familiar objects when you name them
5. Follow Basic commands
If your child does not meet these milestones, it is time to see an Audiologist. With the help of an Otolaryngologist, the Audiologist will be able to determine if the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, and recommend the appropriate treatment option. Best Practice for treating your child's hearing loss requires an Audiologist to look at the needs of your child and the needs of your family. This is called Family Centered Care.
If your treatment option is hearing aids, then you will have some important decisions to make when it comes to which hearing aids will be best for your child, and Phonak has been a pioneer in the world of pediatric hearing aids. They have continued to innovate with their newest hearing aid for children, the Phonak Sky Marvel. The Sky Marvel may be one of the most impressive pediatric hearing aids ever, due to a variety of new features built upon proven the performance of past Sky platforms.
First, is the AutoSense Sky Operating System. If enabled by your Audiologist, the AutoSense Sky OS allows your child's hearing aids to automatically adapt to changing environments.
Second, is Roger Direct. This may be the biggest advancement in Pediatric Hearing Aids since the development of FM systems. In order for your child to hear at their best, Roger Direct takes speech from someone wearing a Roger microphone and sends it directly into your child's hearing aids.
Third is Bluetooth Connectivity. Providing your child access to utilize technology to its full capacity, is critical in today's technology focused classrooms, and the Bluetooth of the Sky Marvel has the capability to provide sound directly from this technology
Fourth is the Color Options. The Sky Marvel has 7 different Ear Hook colors, and 7 different signature Sky colors in addition to the adult colors.
Fifth is durability. The Sky Marvel has an IP68 rating which makes it extremely durable.
It is a great idea to openly communicate with your audiologist because it is their job to support you and your child in this process of hearing treatment. It is also a great idea to connect with other parents with children who also have hearing loss for additional support.
Ultimately, if your child has permanent hearing loss, then hearing technology will provide them with better access to speech which can help them reach their Speech & Language Milestones.
Hearing Aid Acclimatization and Adaptation | Getting Used to Hearing AidsHearing Aid Acclimatization and Adaptation. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses what you need to expect when Acclimating and Adapting to Hearing Aids.
Best Practice Checklists: https://appliedhearingaz-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/p/cliff/Ee0QTawZYU1LvzSfr5nilWwB4Rk6NyFGmpUbxmvNQcF5Dw?e=rQU7Qm
It is a rare occasion when a first-time hearing aid user is able to tolerate their full prescription at their initial hearing aid fitting appointment. The thought that you could go from a hearing loss, that you have probably had for a number of years, to the full amount of amplification required to treat that hearing loss instantaneously just isn’t realistic. So let’s discuss what to expect when acclimating to a new set of hearing aids.
The first thing to expect is things will sound louder. There is a solid possibility that the Auditory Processing Centers of your brain have been under-stimulated for a long time. All of a sudden, you will be asking them to wake back up to start doing their job again without even a warning. Just like when you wake up in the morning, and you need to let your eyes adjust to light, your brain will need to adjust to sound after a long layoff.
When programming my patients up to their full prescription at their hearing aid fitting, using Real Ear Measurement, 9 out of 10 patients need their amplification levels reduced to a more tolerable level. In fact, this is one of the most common excuses that Hearing Care Providers use when arguing against Real Ear Measurements. However, the way I see it, Real Ear Measurement performed at the initial fitting is an end goal not the starting point.
When I’m fitting my new patients, I program the amplification levels of their hearing aids up to their full hearing loss prescription. This ensures the devices, and the way those devices are setup, are capable of reaching their targets. However, I typically need to reduce the level of amplification before the patient leaves my office. Most often, there is a 3-7 dB reduction in overall amplification across the frequency range. Then, at several follow-up visits, this amplification is added back in 2-3 dB increments. By the end of each patient’s 45 day fitting window, almost all hearing aid wearers reach their full prescription, which is where they will hear their best.
If you want to learn more about Real Ear Measurement, you can find my video here: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
The second thing to expect is that some things will sound annoying. Some of the more common things that you may find annoying are the sound of the Toilet Flushing, your Car Running, your Refrigerator Running, Silverware Clanking, and of course, the sound of Crinkling Paper. In some cases, the sound of a hearing aid user’s voice can also be annoying since you will be hearing your voice at a level that you probably haven’t heard in a long time. Fortunately, most hearing aid users adapt to this sound pretty quickly.
The third thing that you may be able to expect is better hearing in background noise. In a 2017 research study titled Auditory Distraction and Acclimatization to Hearing Aids, by Dawes & Munro in Ear & Hearing, they identified a subset of new users with moderate hearing loss, who wore their hearing aids at least 6 hours per day, experienced significantly improved Speech in Noise ability by approximately 3-decibels of signal to noise ratio, compared with a control group of experienced hearing aid users. Improvements in Speech in Noise were associated with more consistent HA use and more severe hearing loss. It appears as though wearing hearing aids consistently has the possibility of improving your ability to hear in background noise, and a 3 dB SNR improvement is a BIG DEAL!
The fourth thing you should expect when adapting to hearing aids is for all this adaptation to occur within approximately 30 days. Dr. Bryan Taylor, one of my favorite Audiologists that I have been following for a long time, performed a Literature Review in 2007 where he identified that the research indicates adaptation to hearing aids occurs within 30 days. While there is no substantial amount of research that indicates adaptation past 30 days, it could be a good thing. Typically this means that you could be fully acclimated to your hearing devices very quickly.
However, just because you don’t continue to adapt to hearing aids over time, it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t receive long-term benefit cognitively. There are a number of studies linking untreated hearing loss to cognitive decline. There are also studies that exist that suggest that treating hearing loss with hearing aids can help to slow down the rate of cognitive decline.
So, if you are a hearing aid user, and you are having a tough time, just hang in there. Once you get over the hump, you should do great!
Hearing Aid Features vs. Style | Signia Styletto ConnectHearing Aid Features vs. Style | Signia Styletto Connect. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses how hearing aid features and style are sometimes mutually exclusive.
Whenever I'm performing a Hearing Aid Evaluation to determine which hearing devices are right for my patient, based on their needs and wants, inevitably the discussion of hearing aid features and style takes place.
You see, each patient has different priorities when it comes to their needs and wants when identifying the best set of hearing aids for them. Some care the most about Features. The more features the hearing aid has, the better. These features can include Rechargeability, Connectivity to a smartphone (Bluetooth), Tinnitus Management, Access to Wireless accessories, or the ability to have Virtual Home Visits.
Other Patients care more about the Style of a device. In other words, the Looks of the hearing aid, Invisibility, Colors, and Cool Factor. The problem is, sometimes the best features and the preferred style can be mutually exclusive, and by picking one you may have to sacrifice the other.
However, this is where Signia has changed the way we approach selecting the best hearing aid for a patient when it comes to features and style. The recent release of the Signia Styletto Connect has received a lot of attention due to it's sleek design and stylish looks, but with all the hype surrounding the asthetics of the Styletto Connect, the features of this device went largely overlooked.
The fact is, the Styletto Connect is part of the very impressive lineup of Signia Nx Devices. In terms of features and performance it is every bit as impressive as other feature rich products in Signia's lineup.
For starters, it is Rechargeable. With the Styletto Connect, you get 19 hours of battery life on a single 3-hour charge, and the sleek charger case is easily portable and stores extra charges without having to plug it into an outlet.
It is also Bluetooth compatible. Not only can you wirelessly stream all audio directly from your iPhone into your hearing aids, you also have access to the Signia My Control App, which allows you to make a variety of program and volume adjustments to your devices right from your smartphone as well.
However, one of the most unique features of the Nx Devices is the Own Voice Processing also known as OVP. One thing that some hearing aid users have a tough time adapting to is the sound of their own voice when first wearing hearing aids. Think about it, if you have gone several years with a hearing loss, you haven't been hearing your Own Voice at the proper level for a long time.
What Own Voice Processing (OVP) does, after being programmed by your hearing care professional, is reduce the amplification given to your own voice while maintaining the correct level of amplification for other people's voices. Studies show that OVP can significantly improve the sound of your own voice: http://www.hearingreview.com/2018/01/clinical-study-shows-significant-benefit-voice-processing/
Not only does the Styletto Connect check all the boxes when it comes to Features and Style, but the overall performance of the Styletto Connect is impressive as well.
As soon as the Styletto Connect was released in Early 2019, I almost immediately contacted one of my patients, Neil Brooks, who is a prominent, and might I say stylish, Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale Arizona. After fitting him with the Connects, and giving him a week to acclimate to the new devices, we decided to go to a noisy Biker Bar in Cave Creek Arizona, to evaluate and discuss how well he had been performing with his new devices. Initially thinking he was going to have to give up performance for style, he was blown away by his actual hearing performance with the Stylettos. Even in incredibly difficult listening environments. Proving that you don’t have to give up Features & Performance for Style.
At the end of the day, trying to get the perfect balance of Features and Style can be difficult, but thanks to forward thinking and innovative hearing aid companies, it doesn't have to be impossible.
Why I LOVE HearingTracker.comWhy I LOVE HearingTracker.com. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the 5 reasons why he loves HearingTracker.com
It's no secret that I've been a huge fan of Hearing Tracker for several years now. In fact, I highlighted them in on of my first videos on this channel. It doesn't hurt that they feature some of my videos on their site as well.
It seems like every time I look at their site, they've added some new features to help you better navigate the world of hearing treatment. So I'm going to give you the 5 reasons why I LOVE HearingTracker.com
#1. The Provider Directory - Not only can you locate hearing aid clinics in your area, you can do that on Google. The biggest thing is that you can filter the results based on different search criteria such as Brand of hearing aid, Diagnostic Testing services offered, and most importantly by who offers Real Ear Measurement - https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
#2. Expert Answers from Hearing Healthcare Providers - This feature allows you to ask questions to a community of Hearing Care Professionals. You often receive several answers within a few hours to give you multiple perspectives on your treatment options.
#3. The News Articles - Hearing Tracker stays on top of industry news to keep you up to speed on the world of hearing treatment. These well written articles give you an inside look at what's going on with hearing aids and hearing loss research.
#4. The Hearing Aid Forum - The Forum lets you post questions or comments to a large group of Hearing Tracker Consumer members. If you want the opinion of other consumers with hearing loss, this is the place for you. You can read threads without being a member, but if you want to contribute, you will need a FREE Hearing Tracker account.
#5. The Hearing Aid Directory - This directory gives you a list of nearly all the hearing aids that you would be available to treat your hearing loss. This can be overwhelming, but by using the filter, you can limit your results do devices that have the features that you want.
Overall, Hearing Tracker offers a lot of great resources for individuals with hearing loss, so if you want to check them out, just go to https://www.HearingTracker.com or just type "Hearing Tracker" in to your search bar.
Eargo NEO Online Hearing Aid Review | Rechargeable Invisible-In-Canal Hearing Aid - UpdatedEargo NEO Online Hearing Aid Review. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, reviews the Eargo Neo - Eargo's newest Rechargeable Invisible-In-Canal Hearing Aid available online.
Eargo NEO Devices: https://amzn.to/2N1OFk1
Real Ear Measurement: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2019, Eargo revealed their NEO hearing aid which is their newest Rechargeable Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) Hearing Aid designed for Mild to Moderate High Frequency Hearing Losses.
In fact, as of right now, Eargo has the only Rechargeable Invisible-In-Canal Hearing Aid on the market.
Some aspects of the NEO have definitely improved over the previous Max and Plus versions. The biggest improvement is the form factor, particularly the flexi-palms. The new flexi-palms are significantly more comfortable than the flexi-fibers that the previous versions used. They are now almost as comfortable as a custom molded IIC hearing aid.
The hearing aid has also seen a significant upgrade as well. The build quality is so much better than before. The battery contacts are flush with the body of the aid, they've added additional microphone ports, and they made the body more cylindrical which leads to a more comfortable fit. Since less grime can get trapped in the recessed battery contacts of the hearing aid.
In terms of the fit and feel of the NEOs, they are very comfortable, and are basically 98% invisible. They are black so they vanish inside of the ear canal and the only thing outside of your ear canal is the clear removal string.
The other nice thing about the NEOs is that you don't experience the Occlusion effect which makes your voice boomy and loud to yourself. Because the device is suspended in your ear canal and allows for the passage of your own voice outside of your ear canal, it prevents this from occurring just like wearing an open fit hearing aid.
The new Charger case uses a USB-C charger instead of the Micro-USB from the previous versions. It stores several charges so you don't need the cable, and you also get 16 hours of battery life in the NEOs on a single charge.
The first charger I received from Eargo had issues with the devices not charging properly, and about 1/2 way through my first review, one of the devices failed. However, customer support from Eargo promptly replaced the faulty components.
The Smartphone App is another new feature for the NEOs. The App connects to the charger, not the hearing aids, so you can't use the app to stream audio or make adjustments to the hearing aids. The app is limited and doesn't really serve much of a purpose, but it does allow for Eargo Customer Support to upload some different preset programs into your devices. Eargo has 4 additional program settings they can send you - Mute, Flat-Response, Noise Reduction, & Feedback Reduction programs.
Contrary to popular belief, Eargo cannot customize the audio of your devices. They have the same programming for everyone, so it is on you to find the volume and program setting that you feel works best. That being said, I was able to perform Real Ear Measurement on the NEOs to see how close they would come to a Prescriptive target. They use a Linear prescription in their devices which is difficult to verify since almost nobody uses an Linear prescriptive method anymore. So I tested with a Non-Linear prescription, the NAL-NL2, but for only a 65 dB SPL input.
Basically, the Eargo struggles to meet prescriptive targets. It overshoots some frequencies and undershoots others. It is difficult for the devices to come close to the prescription for a Moderate hearing loss.
The additional Eargo programs were also measured to see how well they functioned. The Flat response program did reduce some highs and increase some mid-frequencies, but not my much. The Noise Reduction program does reduce noise by an additional 2-3 dB SPL. The Feedback Reduction Program reduces gain at around 3,000 Hz to reduce the chance for feedback to occur.
The cost of these devices is around $2,750. It comes with a 1 year warranty that you can extend for an additional year for a fee. You will have advanced replacement which means that if a hearing aid fails, Eargo will send you another one before you send back the broken one.
Overall, the Eargo NEO is a decent online hearing aid. It can't be customized, but the other benefits of being rechargeable and invisible might be more important to you.
DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!
The History of Hearing AidsThe History of Hearing Aids. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses how far the hearing aid industry has come over the years.
NEW MyPhonak Smartphone App Review | Phonak Marvel 2.0 Hearing AidsNEW MyPhonak Smartphone App Review | Phonak Marvel 2.0. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, reviews the NEW Marvel 2.0 myPhonak Hearing Aid Smartphone App.
What You NEED to Know About Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids | FDA OTC Hearing Aid Act 2017What You NEED to Know About Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids | OTC Hearing Aid Act 2017. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses what you need to know about Over The Counter Hearing Aids.
In 2017, President Donald Trump signed the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017 into Law, which we have also been calling, the Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act. This law will require the FDA to create and regulate a new category of hearing aids, designed to treat "perceived" mild to moderate hearing loss, within 3 years of the Act being signed into law.
Following a 180 day Comment Period, the law will take effect at some point in 2020, giving consumers with hearing loss, access to an additional treatment option. But what does this mean for you as a consumer? Here are 7 things that you need to know about Over The Counter Hearing Aids.
#1. It will provide increased access to Hearing Devices.
Without the requirement to have a hearing evaluation, you will be able to purchase OTC hearing aids online and in stores like Walmart, Target, & CVS. This may give individuals, who live far away from Hearing Clinics, access to hearing aids that they wouldn't otherwise.
#2. It will Eventually lead to the creation of new Self-Fitting Hearing Aid Technologies by Consumer Electronics Companies.
Companies like Bose, Samsung, and maybe even Apple could eventually get into the OTC hearing aid market. I say eventually because it may take years of trial and error before these companies develop quality OTC devices. If we're lucky, we'll see hearing aid companies producing OTC hearing aids.
#3. It could lead to Possible Regulation of Wildly Unregulated Direct To Consumer Hearing Aid Marketplace.
I say possible regulation because the FDA does not do a good job of regulating the guidelines that they currently have in place regarding OTC hearing aids. There are several online companies that claim they sell OTC devices in an effort to cash-in on the headlines about the OTC Hearing Aid Act. All of this despite the letter the FDA sent out warning manufacturers that the OTC hearing aid category doesn't exist yet. When reporting these companies to the FDA, they basically issued a form letter explaining that they aren't going to do anything about it. If the FDA doesn't actually enforce it's own guidelines, it will be nearly impossible to determine which OTC hearing aids are legitimate and which ones are a rip off.
#4. It could put you at risk of improperly treating your hearing loss.
OTC hearing aids are intended for "perceived Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss". It is basically impossible to know your level of hearing loss based on perception alone. If you underestimate your level of hearing loss, OTC devices won't work for you. You may also go undetected for a number of hearing losses including Unilateral Hearing Loss, Sudden Hearing Loss, and Conductive Hearing Loss. All of which could have serious negative health effects beyond just hearing loss alone.
#5. It will NOT drive down the costs of current hearing aid technology.
Consumer electronics companies are not out to save you money. They are out to make money. Their products will be cheaper than traditional hearing aids, but they will be more expensive than a set of Bose Headphones. Besides, the cost of hearing aids is more than just devices alone. It includes the professional care required to maximize and maintain their performance.
#6. There is no guarantee that your OTC hearing aids will be programmed correctly.
The biggest drawback of OTC hearing aids will likely be the lack of verification. Yes, you will be able to self-adjust the hearing devices, but what sounds "good" to you may not actually be getting what you need. This is because most individuals with a hearing loss underestimate how much amplification they need, especially in the high frequencies. This is why Real Ear Measurements (REMs) are so important for ensuring that hearing aids are programmed correctly. If you don't know what REMs are, you need to watch this video: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
#7. OTC will lead to the demise of Bad Hearing Care Providers.
There are MANY GREAT Hearing Care Providers out there who earn every penny of what you pay them to Treat your hearing loss. However, there will most definitely be BAD Hearing Care Providers who will inevitably leave the Hearing Care Industry because they will offer nothing of value beyond what you could get with OTC hearing aids. The #1 variable of success with hearing aids is if your hearing care provider follows best practices, like Real Ear Measurement.
However, it can be difficult finding these outstanding providers which is why I am launching the Dr. Cliff Approved Provider Network. Each provider in this network will be personally vetted by Dr. Cliff.
Overall, I am in 100% support of OTC hearing aids, as long as the FDA actually does their job.
The Rapid Advancement of Hearing Aid Technology | Phonak Marvel 2.0The Rapid Advancement of Hearing Aid Technology | Phonak Marvel 2.0. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the release of Phonak Marvel 2.0.
For more information about Marvel 2.0 visit: http://bit.ly/2YStPKf
The advancement of hearing aid technology is rapidly advancing. Every time you think that hearing aid technology can't get better, engineers develop something new that make them....well....BETTER!
Now I'm a relatively young audiologist, so I can't imagine what audiologists 20-30 years my senior think about the capabilities of hearing aids now compared to when they first started in the industry.
It took centuries for us to go from a Hollowed-out Buffalo horn to a hearing aid that would fit behind the ear and do nothing other than make all sounds louder. But since 1996, and the invention of digital hearing aids, we have seen increased capability of engineers to accelerate how quickly they can incorporate new and improved technology into hearing aids.
In 2014, we saw hearing aid that could connect directly to an iPhone to allow users to stream audio directly into their ears. In 2018, Phonak finally developed a hearing aid that could connect to any Phone to stream audio into both of your ears, with the release of the Audeo Marvel line of devices.
However, Phonak didn't stop there. Less than 1 year later they are making their Marvel hearing aids even better with the release of Marvel 2.0. You see, like I mentioned before, new hearing aids are being released all the time, but wouldn't it be great if the hearing aids you already owned could be improved without having to buy new devices?
Well, that is exactly what Phonak is doing with their Marvel line of devices. In August of 2019 Phonak is updating their MyPhonak App which will combine their remote app for program and volume changes and allow for much more user customization including frequency adjustments, noise reduction, and directionality.
With Marvel 2.0 you will also be able to connect 2 Bluetooth devices at the same time. Phonak is also making Titanium custom earmolds for the Audeo Marvel devices instead of just acrylic for a very small earmold that is significantly smaller.
Roger Direct will also be made available. Since all Marvel hearing aids ever dispensed have the receivers inside of them already, all you need to do is have them installed. This will allow you to use Roger Microphones directly with your Marvel devices. Being able to use the Roger Pen, Roger Select, Roger Table Mic 2, and new Roger Partner Mic without a streaming device is a game changer.
As promised, Phonak is completing the rollout of their Audeo Marvel devices with the Audeo M-RT. The Rechargeable hearing aid with Telecoil. A Telecoil will help you be able to hear significantly better in a public venue, like church or movie theater, if that venue has a Teleloop. It can also help while using a landline telephone.
Phonak is also bringing Marvel technology into their Bolero and Sky (pediatric) line of devices. Now individuals who can't use Receiver in Canal technology and children don't have to miss out on all the fun.
If I could go back in time and tell the original inventors all the things that you would be able to do with haring aid in the future, they probably would have laughed at me. Then again, if I were to go back only 20 years, they probably would have laughed at me then too.
Cochlear Implants for Single Sided Deafness & Asymmetrical Hearing Loss | FDA ApprovalCochlear Implants for Single Sided Deafness & Asymmetrical Hearing Loss | FDA Approval. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses how Cochlear Implants can be used for Single Sided Deafness and Asymmetrical hearing loss.
Whether you were born deaf in one ear, experienced a Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, or you developed a tumor in one ear, there are a variety of treatment options at your disposal. Some of these treatments for an Asymmetrical hearing loss or Single Sided Deafness include the Contralateral Routing of Signal (ie CROS) Technology and Bone Conduction Technology. Both of which I have discussed in detail in other videos.
While these are effective treatment options for hearing sound from your deaf side, due to overcoming the Head Shadow Effect, there are still some major problems that persist with these treatment options because they do not bring back Binaural Hearing.
Binaural hearing, aka. hearing with two ears, offers some significant benefits over hearing with just one ear such as Improved hearing in Quiet and Noise, Improved Ease of Listening, and Localization ability. Localization, or the ability to determine which direction sound comes from, requires a timing difference between two ears.
Don't get me wrong, Bone Conduction and CROS are absolutely terrific options for Single Sided Deafness, but they do not give you back the ability to hear with both ears and achieve the true benefits of binaural hearing.
However, there is another, less common treatment option for Single Sided Deafness that is more commonly thought of for individuals with bilateral deafness, and that is a Cochlear Implant. A Cochlear Implant can stimulate hearing on the deaf side by stimulating the cochlear nerve directly with electrical impulses. These impulses are then interpreted as sound by the brain, allowing you to hear.
By giving hearing back to the deaf ear, it is possible to somewhat restore the benefits of binaural hearing, including the ability to localize where sound is coming from. This is something you just can't do with traditional treatments like Bone Conduction and CROS.
A few weeks ago, the FDA approved the Med-El Cochlear Implant System as the first cochlear implant system approved for the treatment of Single Sided Deafness and Asymmetrical hearing loss.
According to their press release "MED-EL Cochlear Implant (CI) Systems, including SYNCHRONY and the recently FDA-approved SYNCHRONY 2, are now indicated for individuals aged 5 years and older with SSD who have profound sensorineural hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing or mild sensorineural hearing loss in the other ear, or individuals aged 5 years and older with AHL who have profound sensorineural hearing loss in one ear and mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss in the other ear, with a difference of at least 15 dB in pure tone averages between ears."
Prior to this FDA approval, Cochlear implants have been used as an Off-Label treatment for Single Sided Deafness. Basically this means that they weren't specifically approved by the FDA but were used as a treatment anyway.
However, FDA approval does not equal guaranteed treatment with a Cochlear Implant. There are candidacy requirements that must be met.
-You must receive limited benefit from unilateral amplification
-Score less than 5% words correct in quiet on the CNC word list on the ear to be implanted
-Aided Speech perception tests using developmentally appropriate monosyllabic word lists
-Must score 5% or less in the ear to be implanted.
Both Adults and Children must have
-At least 1 month of experience wearing a Hearing aid, a CROS, or other relevant device with NO reported Subjective benefit.
The other potential barrier to implantation would be cost. While some insurances may cover Cochlear Implantation for individuals with SSD, this won't be the norm for a little while. With Private Pay costs for Surgery and Technology ranging anywhere between $30,000 to $50,000 or more for a single ear, it is definitely possible to be implanted.
That being said, don't let cost be your main deterrent. With enough appeals to your insurance or with help from a charitable organization, you may be able to receive at least some coverage for a cochlear implant.