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 phone calls, 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!