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.
Adam Savage's Hearing Loss | MYTHBUSTERS Star Tells AllAdam Savage's Hearing Loss | MYTHBUSTERS Star Tells All. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses Adam Savage's video on his Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids.
Adam Savage's Tested Video: https://youtu.be/D-Ptuq85R8Y
Adam Savage recently posted a video on his YouTube Channel - Adam Savage's Tested - where he shares his experience with hearing loss. I wanted to share some additional insight into Adam's hearing loss and the hearing aids that he uses to treat it.
The first thing Adam talks about is the cause of his hearing loss, which isn’t a traditional age-related hearing loss, or Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
He actually mentions that he had a congenital birth defect that gave him hearing loss across the board. Which means he has a loss in the Low, Mid, and High frequencies, whereas most hearing losses occur in the High-Frequencies primarily. He doesn’t mention the severity of this hearing loss, but I would suspect that it is in the Moderate to Moderate-Severe range.
His congenital middle ear condition required him to undergo ossicular chain reconstruction in his left ear multiple times, where a surgeon basically had to reconstruct the Malleus, Incus, & Stapes bones his middle ear which typically means that they implanted a prosthetic to replace these bones. He also mentioned that they had to replace the eardrum on his left side.
The good news is that following the surgeries, his Left ear is now his better hearing ear.
Despite the surgeries, he still has a hearing loss in both ears and has been wearing hearing aids for over 10 years to treat the loss.
I must say, he is quite animated about the benefit he is receiving from his hearing aids, and rightfully so because it sounds like they actually gave him his life back and mentions that he is now hearing things that he didn’t even realize that he was missing.
Now the hearing aids that he actually wears are the Evoke Fusion 2 hearing aids from Widex.
I actually have a full video review of these specific hearing aids on my channel as well, and I will also link that video in the description, but the one aspect that I want to pause on for a second is the image that he shows of one of his devices.
It is a receiver in the canal hearing aid that has a double closed dome on it. Since he has a flat hearing loss or even perhaps slightly more hearing loss in the Low frequencies vs the Mids and Highs, he needs to use a type of dome that can trap the low-frequency bass sounds inside of his ear canal so he can actually perceive them.
If he had more open fit domes that have vents on them, that don’t completely close of his ear canal, then he likely would receive less benefit from whatever devices he decided to wear. This is a very important component when treating hearing losses like Adam’s.
Alright, now on to some of the specific features of His Widex Evoke Fusion 2 hearing aids.
The first being better sound quality and an increased frequency response with his newer devices which he believes gives him better music appreciation as well. The input dynamic range is definitely a strength of Widex and really is a good option for music lovers. He also specifically mentions that he upgrades his technology every 4-5 years and each time he does, he gets better performance from the newer devices.
The next thing he mentions is the SoundSense Learn Feature which lets him customize his hearing aid programming using Machine Learning. Basically he gets to do a Paired Comparison so his hearing aids know how to customize his programming to his preferences in that environment.
The third thing that he mentions is the ability to stream audio directly into his hearing aids from his iPhone, which gives him the ability to stream phonecalls, audiobooks, podcasts, YouTube Videos, and basically any other type of media that has sound.
On a side note, I would like to mention how impressed I am with how quickly he can insert his hearing aids. Unless they sped this part up in post production of the video, he may very well be the single fastest person at inserting hearing aids that I have EVER seen. Very Impressive Adam.
The last thing that stands out is that he mentions Stigma surrounding the use of hearing aids. He basically says that “no one who ever put in hearing aids thought to themselves that it was a mistake, it just doesn’t happen”. Adam goes on to say that hearing aids have improved every aspect of his life, and he encourages everyone who has difficulty hearing to see an Audiologist to get tested.
While his video was sponsored, he is actually a Widex user and is perhaps the single most credible celebrity endorser in the history of celebrity endorsers.
I just want to say, Adam, thank you so much for helping to create awareness of hearing loss and giving individuals with hearing loss a great role model to live up to!
The UBER of Hearing Care | Widex Remote CareThe UBER of Hearing Care | Widex Remote Care. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses Widex Remote Care feature that allows for more convenient programming from the comfort of your own home.
Do you know why Uber is so popluar? It isn't because they are the only way to catch a ride across town and it isn't because they are significantly cheaper than their competitors. Uber's smartphone app makes requesting a ride more convenient than calling a cab or figuring out the train schedule. UBER SAVES YOU TIME!
The hearing aid industry is starting to follow Uber's lead and making hearing aid programming more convenient by utilizing Remote Audiologic Care. The majority of patients that I see in my clinic are from out of town or out of state. Having the ability to make programming adjustments when they are not in my office is a necessity in my clinic.
Widex now has one of the best Remote Care features in the industry that works with their Evoke, Beyond, Unique, and even the Dream line of devices. The only devices it doesn't work with is their CIC micro Hearing Aids because they are too small for wireless connection.
This is how it works. During your initial programming appointment with your hearing care provider, they will have you download the Widex Remote Care App on your Android or Apple Smartphone. Then they will pair the Remote Link Neck Loop to your phone and your hearing aids for you to take home. You schedule a remote programming session with your hearing care professional and they will be able to tap directly into your hearing aids just like you were sitting in their office.
Widex has a few unique features that other manufacturers don't have.
#1. In-Situ Audiometry - They can actually perform a hearing test on you through the hearing aids in your own home. This can be a great way to track changes in your hearing over time and is great for individuals who are not mobile enough to get into the clinic regularly.
#2. Feedback Manager - Most remote care apps do not allow for feedback management. So if your hearing aids are whistling, this can help your hearing care professional fix the problem so you don't have any more whistling.
#3. Service Tracker - This is my favorite feature. It allows the hearing care provider to make a diagnostic check on the hearing aids. This can tell them if the hearing aid is malfunctioning before making adjustments. It can identify Microphone performance, Receiver Performance, and Internal Noise.
Overall, having the ability to make remote programming adjustments from the comfort of your own home reduces the amount of visits you need to make to your Hearing Care Providers office. Adding convenience to your treatment process and saving you time. Making Remote Care the Uber of Hearing Care.
The INVISIBLE In the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aid | Phonak Virto B Titanium Hearing AidThe INVISIBLE In the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aid | Phonak Virto B Titanium Hearing Aid. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses Invisible In the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids.
To Learn More: http://bit.ly/2OqE6Ze
Even though the stigma surrounding the use of hearing aids is starting to fade into history, hearing aid manufacturers continue to produce smaller and smaller hearing aids to meet patient demands. Truth be told, the miniaturization of hearing aids is due to more than just their ability to be nearly invisible and more discrete.
A hearing aid that can sit deep inside of an ear canal also provides a whole bunch of other benefits including: Less interference with Hats & Sunglasses, less hearing of your hair brushing on the microphones behind your ear, less perception of wind noise due to the protection provided by your pinna and ear canal, and the natural shielding of some background noise provided by the pinna effect.
The smallest version of these hearing aids is called the Invisible-In-Canal otherwise known as IIC. These devices fit comfortably, deep inside of your ear canal, so they are never seen, and provide you all the benefits that I mentioned before.
Phonak has one of the best IIC hearing aids thanks to the use of Titanium. Originally discovered in 1791, Titanium is extremely strong and lightweight, and in 2016, Phonak started making their Virto B-Titanium Hearing Aids out of this metal.
Traditionally made out of Acrylic, Titanium is 15 times stronger than Acrylic. Which means that Phonak can make a Titanium hearing aid shell that is 50% thinner than an Acrylic shell. Combine this thinner shell with 60% smaller electronic components and you have a hearing aid that is 26% smaller than it's Acrylic counterpart. This allows Phonak to create a Power version of their Virto B-Titanium hearing aid as well, that can fit more severe hearing losses.
These devices are super small and fit invisibly into my ear canal. Even the Power version looks almost exactly the same as it's standard power counterpart. Now wonder I have patients that love these devices.
According to Phonak, the use of Titanium has increased successful IIC fit rates by 4%. Increasing from 94% with Acrylic to 98% with Titanium. This means that nearly everyone that wants an invisible hearing aid is a candidate for this style of device.
So whether you have tiny ear canals, or a more severe hearing loss, you can still receive the benefits of Hearing Aids that fit entirely inside of your ears. When it comes to hearing aids, it doesn't get much smaller than an Invisible In the Canal device. Especially when that devices is made out of Titanium.
How to Clean a Phonak Audeo Marvel Hearing Aid | Audeo M-312 & Audeo MR & EarmoldsHow to Clean a Phonak Audeo Marvel Hearing Aid | Audeo M-312 & Audeo MR. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, shows how to clean & maintain Phonak Audeo Marvel Hearing Aids
Zephyr Dry & Store Kit: https://amzn.to/2GBEFsT
Westone Hearing Aid Saver: https://amzn.to/2YuTTdu
SKIP TO YOUR SECTION:
1:10 - Audéo Marvel 312, 312T, & 13T
2:35 - Custom C-Shell
5:03 - Audéo Marvel Rechargeable & RT
6:02 - Receiver with Rubber Dome
9:39 - Dehydrator Kits
Costco Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids ReviewCostco Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids Review. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, takes a look at the features of the New Costco Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aid brand manufactured by Sonova.
What are Hearing Aid Best Practices?: https://youtu.be/4F1pkDhb8ys
For the past 3 years, Sivantos, who owns the Rexton and Signia brands, has been the manufacturer of Costco's Kirkland Signature 7.0 and 8.0 hearing aids, but not anymore! That baton has just been passed to Sanova who now is the manufacturer of the Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aid. You may be familiar with Sonova already because they manufacturer some well known brands such as Phonak, Unitron, and Hansaton.
Based on what we know from the recent announcement, the core features of the Signature 9.0 will be similar to those found in Sonova's Phonak Audeo Marvel and Unitron's Moxi Jump hearing aids. So let's take a look at those features.
First, is the form factor. Like Signature generations before it, the 9.0 will be a Receiver In Canal (RIC) style hearing aid with 4 different receiver power levels and a 312 disposable battery.
Second, is the operating system. Similar to Phonak's AutoSense 3.0 and Unitron's SoundNav 3.0, the Signuature 9.0 will be able to automatically identify your listening environment and make program adjustments for you. It will also allow the hearing aid to automatically classify Speech and Music media when Streaming audio from a Smart Device.
Third, is the programmability. With Phonak inspired programming software, and 20 fine tuning channels with similar digital features to Phonak hearing aids, the Signature 9.0 will have a lot of customizability if you have a hearing care provider who is up to the task.
Fourth, is the Bluetooth Capabilities. The Signature 9.0 will be Bluetooth compatible with nearly all phones that have Bluetooth. This includes old flip phones, Apple iPhones, and Android devices. Not only can you stream Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and YouTube videos, you will also be able to stream phone calls hands free through your cellular devices.
Aside from all the great features of the Signature 9.0 hearing aids, in my opinion, these are the most defeatured hearing aids that Costco has ever dispensed. While they aren't technically Phonak or Unitron hearing aids, they lack some of the BEST features of the Phonak Audeo Marvel, and Unitron Moxi Jump R hearing aids.
For instance, they are not rechargeable. Lithium rechargeability has proven to be extremely reliable and convenient, especially for individuals who have finger dexterity issues or vision issues. The Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aids will only be available to use disposable Size 312 batteries.
Much to the chagrin of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Signature 9.0 will not have a Telecoil either. This is unfortunate because the Telecoil is perhaps the most underrated hearing aid feature out there and can dramatically improve how well you hear in a public venue and on the telephone.
Like other hearing aids sold in Costco, they will not have any Tinnitus features so they will not be ideal devices for Tinnitus sufferers. They will also not utilize Remote Programmability, which would allow for convenient hearing aid programming adjustments from the comfort of your own home. This would be an especially nice feature for individuals with mobility issues.
Finally, the Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aids will also not have integrated Roger Receivers, that are inside of all Phonak Audeo Marvel hearing aids. These embedded receivers, which allow you to directly connect to Roger Microphone Technology, would be able to dramatically improve how well you hear in a background noise situation.
Despite all of the features that you give up in the Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aids, they are still a solid hearing aid option, and for only $1,499 for a pair, there is still a lot of value there.
Just remember, it does not matter how great your hearing aids are, or how many features they have, unless you have a hearing care professional who can program them correctly and follows Best Practices. If you don't know what Best Practices are, I highly recommend you watch this video: https://youtu.be/4F1pkDhb8ys
BEST Low Cost Alternative to Hearing Aids?BEST Low Cost Alternative to Hearing Aids? Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses possibly the BEST Low Cost Alternative to Hearing Aids!
BEST Way to HEAR in Complex Situations | Phonak Roger Wireless MicrophonesBEST Way to HEAR in Complex Situations | Phonak Roger Wireless Microphones. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses the best way to hear in complex listening situations using Assistive Listening Devices.
For more information on Phonak Roger, visit: http://bit.ly/2LhraCz
If you are like everyone else with hearing loss, you likely struggle in complex listening situations that include: Background Noise, Reverberation (Echo), and Increased distance between you and the person speaking to you.
Hearing Aids have come a long way in improving your performance in these environments. From the use of Noise Reduction Algorithms, Directional Microphones, Clip-on Microphones, and Telecoils, hearing aid technology continues to improve. The main goal of these innovations is to improve Signal to Noise Ratio. Essentially, signal to noise ratio is the difference between the sounds that you want to hear and the sounds that you don't want to hear. The larger the difference in the positive direction, the better you will hear.
Imagine that you are in a restaurant, that isn’t very busy, with only a few friends. You may find yourself with a favorable signal to noise ratio of, Let’s Say, +15 Decibels. This means that the voice of your friend that is talking is 15 decibels louder than the surrounding noise in that restaurant , which means that you will likely have very little difficulty understanding what your friends are saying.
Now imagine that you are in a restaurant, that is very busy, and you are with a large table of friends. In this situation, you may find yourself with a signal to noise ratio of only +2 decibels, which means that the voice of a friend that is talking is only 2 decibels louder than the surrounding noise. This would result in more difficulty understanding your friends, and could EVEN result in not being able to engage in conversation with your friends at all.
Without a doubt, the best way to optimize your ability to understand speech in a complex situation like a noisy restaurant, a large room with bad echo, and over a long distance is to use an Assistive Listening Device in addition to your hearing aids. Why? Because even the best hearing aids in the world can only improve your signal to noise ratio by up to 5 decibels, when an Assistive Listening Device can improve it by up to 15 decibels.
This is where Phonak and their selection of Roger Wireless Microphones lead the industry. Take the Roger Pen for instance. This accessory is my favorite Assistive Listening Device for several reasons. First, it lets you connect directly to a phone so you can stream phone calls into both of your hearing aids. Second, you can use it as a table microphone that can pick up the voices of individuals at your table without picking up as much surrounding noise. Third, you can pick it up and point it at an individual person that you want to hear, separating their voice from other voices that are around you even if you are in a noisy location. Fourth, you can hang it around the neck of another person and it will send their voice directly into your hearing aids, removing difficulty in a noisy environment. Fifth, you can connect it to your television and stream it into both of your hearing aids, and Sixth, you can connect it to a device like a phone stream music and other audio directly into your ears.
You also have the Roger Select. The Roger Select is a versatile microphone ideal for stationary situations where background noise is present. It’s Multi-beam technology uses 6 different directional microphones allowing it to automatically select the direction that has the best signal to noise ratio.
It can also be worn as a lapel microphone to pick up the voice of a single person, and one of the coolest features of the Roger Select is your ability to SELECT which direction you want to pick up sound from, so you can control with conversation you want to be a part of, if more than one conversations are occurring at one time.
Then you have the Roger Tablemic 2. The Roger Tablemic 2 is a remote microphone that is perfect for individuals who find themselves in various meetings. Multiple Tablemics can be used together to pick up the voices around a meeting table, automatically switching between meeting participants, and sending their voices directly into your ears.
While Roger Devices work with a variety of hearing aid and cochlear implant brands on the market, the best part is, they are directly compatible with the Phonak Audeo Marvel hearing aids. This means no more neck loops or extended battery door receivers, because the receivers are already inside of the devices.
At the end of the day, if hearing aids aren't enough, you can get help by using an assistive listening device, you just have to be willing to use them.
Video Remote Interpreting for American Sign Language (ASL)Video Remote Interpreting for American Sign Language (ASL). Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses using Video Remote Interpreting Services for individuals who require American Sign Language (ASL).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Title 2 entities like State and Local Governments, & Title 3 entities like Businesses and Non-profits to be able to communicate effectively with individuals who have communication disabilities.
If you or someone you know requires American Sign Language to communicate effectively, you have rights under the ADA that require these entities to provide you with ASL services. Even if you are in an area with no access to in-person interpreters.
One of the best ways to do this is to use Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). VRI uses Video conferencing technology to access an off-site interpreter to provide real-time sign language or oral interpreting services for conversations between hearing people and people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
In my clinic, I prefer to use a HIPPA Compliant VRI service called ACA Video Remote Interpreting: https://acavideoremoteinterpreting.com . Not only can they provide Regular VRI services, but they can also provide Medical VRI services which uses interpreters that have an extensive medical vocabulary and have gone through specialized ASL training to ensure that they are more qualified to interpret in a number of medical setting.
The session you are seeing here is me performing a hearing aid fitting with a patient who primarily uses ASL to communicate. The webcam with integrated microphone on top of my monitor lets the interpreter see my patient, and hear me talking at the same time so they know what to sign to my patient. Meanwhile, my patient can clearly see the interpreter who is using ASL to communicate what I am saying. If a patient isn’t able to verbally communicate with me, the interpreter can relay what the patient is signing back to me.
Having a High Quality Monitor & Webcam, & access High Speed internet are very important when using Video Remote Interpreting, and if the setup is done well, a Remote Video Session like this one, can be just as effective as having an in-person interpreter in the office.
While VRI services don't require an actual interpreter on site, it is always a good idea to let the business you will be visiting know in advance if you require ASL interpreting services. So if you require American Sign Language to communicate effectively, you can easily receive ASL services even if you live in the middle of nowhere.
WORST Online Hearing Aids in 2019Worst Online Hearing Aids in 2019 (NOT the BEST Hearing Aids) Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses what he thinks are the WORST, NOT the BEST, Hearing Aids in 2019.
Starkey Hear Now: https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/Hear-Now
*The information presented in this video is my own opinion. My content is intended to provide information that is of value to the public on issues of public concern. I did not receive any compensation for this video.
Online hearing aid companies are popping up everywhere as we await the guidelines for the 2017 Over The Counter Hearing Aid Act. Until that time, no regulations are being enforced to prevent the sale of Online Hearing Amplifiers that are being marketed as legitimate hearing aids.
Just as a side note if you want to trust your hearing loss and brain health to one of the devices on this list, that is up to you, just make sure you are making an informed decision.
#5. MDHearingAid.com - MDHearingAids has 4 different hearing aids that they tout amazing features about, but without the ability to customize the amplification, the amount of benefit is likely limited. They also have a ridiculous return policy where you are assessed a 10% return fee if you return the devices for credit before 21 days, and they will not refund you after 45 days. You also need to get an RMA number or they will cost you an extra 20% if you return them. Consumer Affairs indicates that they have more 1-2 star ratings than 4-5 star ratings. Most of these poor ratings are due to performance and quality issues with their products.
#4. HearingAssist.com - Hearing Assist has an emotional commercial where a Dad can't hear his Son when he says "I love you dad". Then he goes into a well scripted monologue about how much hearing loss has impacted his life. Despite talking a big game on their home page, they do NOT have an A+ rating with the BBB, and only have a 2 star consumer rating. They also have 8 complaints against the company, most due to not being refunded after returning their products.
#3. Lumiear.com - Lumiear actually has hearing aid images from a hearing aid manufacturer that they do not sell themselves. This should be a HUGE red flag. Their other photos are grainy and scream "CHEAP". In fact, I wouldn't recommend trying their rechargeable lithium option at that low of a price point. You never know if it will start your hair on fire.
#2. MyHearingHero.com - My Hearing Hero doesn't even have an official website, just an advertorial that leads to a sales page. Biggest RED FLAG for this company is the upside down hearing aid that they present in each of their marketing pieces. But hey, they offer you a discount for purchasing 5 devices, and for only an extra $27.70 you can get a lifetime replacement warranty. All this despite marketing pieces where they claim that they won't be in business for very long.
#1. NanoHearingAids.com - Nano Advanced Hearing Technology is clearly the worst online hearing aid company in my opinion. Not only do they use false advertising, make outrageous performance claims, and fake reviews, they also claim to be the first Over The Counter hearing aids despite the FDA's restriction of this claim. How they haven't been shut down by the FDA or fined by the FTC is beyond me. They have over 100 complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, most for poor hearing aid performance and inability for customers to get a refund after returning the devices.
If you can't afford traditional hearing aids, you have options. Organizations like the Starkey Hearing Foundation has a Hear Now Program: https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/Hear-Now where you can get 2 hearing aids for only $250. They significantly outperform the devices on this list, and come with 5 office visits with a hearing care professional to ensure you maximize the performance of those devices.
Advanced Hearing Aid Features Explained | CompressionAdvanced Hearing Aid Features Explained | Compression. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses Hearing Aid Compression.
The development of digital hearing aid technology in the mid 1990's allowed engineers to introduce some pretty amazing features inside of today's modern hearing aids. But perhaps one of the most important features is Compression.
The easiest way to think of compression is for you to imagine someone who is speaking softly to you vs. someone who is yelling at you. If you have a hearing loss, you need to amplify the soft spoken person MORE than you need to amplify the sound of the person who is yelling.
Before compression, hearing aids could only apply the same amount of amplification to every sound. Potentially making soft sounds too soft and loud sounds too loud.
Someone with normal hearing has a wide range of sounds that they can hear. All the way from very soft sounds, to very loud sounds. We call this the Dynamic Range. The reason compression is so important is that someone with a hearing loss has a more narrow range of sounds that are audible, and all of the same sounds that the normal hearing person can hear must be "compressed" into that narrow range.
In order to make this happen, compression must be utilized when programming hearing aids. By adjusting the correct level of amplification for Loud, Average, and Soft level sounds, your hearing care professional can ensure that all of these sounds are audible and comfortable. By doing so, compression is also being adjusted.
One of the best ways to ensure that compression is done correctly is to perform Real Ear Measurement (REM). If you don't know what REMs are, check out this video: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY
When using Real Ear Measurement to verify the correct amount of amplification & Compression for your hearing aids, Loud, Average, and Soft level Speech Sounds are presented from a loudspeaker in front of you. The amplification levels of your hearing aids are then measured inside of your ear canals with a Probe Microphone to determine if the correct amount of amplification is being given for each of these Input Levels.
Your hearing care provider will make adjustments in the hearing aid programming software until they match the amplification to your prescriptive targets. What you are looking at here are amplification measurements taken inside of a patient’s ear canal. The goal is to match the Solid lines which is the hearing aid amplification, with the Hash Mark Lines, which is the prescription for each of these sound inputs.
If your hearing care professional matches these targets accurately, it will ensure that Loud, Average, and Soft sounds are correctly amplified with the right amount of compression.
This should give you a basic level understanding of what compression is. Hopefully it gives you an understanding of the complexity of what a hearing care professional is actually doing when programming your hearing aids. Programming hearing aids is more than adjusting overall volume.
While compression isn't the most exciting hearing aid feature like Bluetooth and automatically adjusting programs, it could quite possibly be the most important hearing aid feature in today's modern hearing aids.
FAKE Online Hearing Aid ReviewsFAKE Online Hearing Aid Reviews. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses why you can't always trust online reviews in the hearing industry.
*The information presented in this video is my own opinion. My content is intended to provide information that is of value to the public on issues of public concern. I did not receive any compensation for this video.
In every industry, Online Consumer Reviews are extremely important to a company's success because 92% of Consumers read Online Reviews for Local Businesses, 80% Trust online reviews just as much as a Personal Recommendation from a Friend, 87% of Consumers will not use a Business with Low Ratings, and positive Consumer reviews can even improve a company’s search rankings.
This EXTREME importance of Online Reviews has led to an abundance of questionable review generation methods in the hopes of either convincing a you to trust a particular business, or convincing a customer not to trust a worthy competitor.
There are Two reasons why you can't trust online reviews in the hearing industry.
Reason #1. Positive Reviews can be Purchased.
A simple Google search can reveal an unlimited number of online services where you can purchase 5 Star Online Reviews for Facebook, Google, Better Business Bureau, and Yelp. Many online hearing aid companies buy these positive reviews in an attempt to appear credible to consumers who are looking for a lower cost treatment option.
In my opinion, Nano Advanced Hearing Technologies is one of the biggest violators of these fake positive reviews. As of October 2018 they had 3,307 reviews on their Nano CIC hearing aids. which means they accumulated over 3,000 reviews in about 1 year. Since that time, in May of 2019, they now have 3,285 reviews which is actually a reduction in reviews. Which means that they actually lost reviews over the following 7 months. If that isn't suspicious enough, they didn't have a single 1 or 2 star review on their website. The Better Business Bureau, however, has 78 customer complaints about the company. Most of these complaints are due to the company not refunding their customers after returning their amplifiers.
All of this, at least to me, appears to be a pretty obvious case of buying positive reviews in order to trick consumers into thinking that they are a legitimate company.
Reason #2. Anyone can Post a FAKE Negative Review as well.
People and companies can easily create fake online accounts and then post negative reviews on their competitor's websites. This is exactly what happened to my clinic, Applied Hearing Solutions, 3 times in the past 4 months. It started with a review from an Alex Lakos on January 27th 2019. Even though he has never been a patient at our clinic, he was apparently offended by the way we operate.
Then a few months later, there was another One Star review left by a Francisco Newberry, who again, has never been to our clinic. In fact, the image he used for his review profile belonged to a lawyer who lives in Washington DC.
One week later, a Third One Star review was left by a John Harrell who said that he and his grandmother were treated poorly at our clinic, and were called names for not pursuing treatment. I was also accused of "cursing like a sailor" during their appointment.
Each Fake Review was reported to Google, but was also responded to. Sometimes, you can get a better idea of how a company operates based on how they respond to negative, and even Fake negative reviews.
The point is, you can’t trust every Positive or Negative Online Review that you read. However, one way that you will be able to increase the likelihood of finding a great Hearing Care Provider that you can trust, will be to find one who is in the Dr. Cliff Approved Provider Network. Starting in October of 2019, you will be able to go to https://www.DrCliffAuD.com and use the provider locator Tool to find a local provider who I have personally vetted to provide High Quality Hearing Care. Someone you can trust without having to sift through bogus Online Reviews. So make sure you head over to https://www.DrCliffAuD.com and bookmark that page so you can find it in October.