Hearing Aids

posted By: Earlens Web | 08.14.18

Are Earlens Hearing Aids Adjustable?

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Earlens digital hearing aids can be set to have multiple volume settings and up to four different programs for different types of listening environments. For instance, Earlens wearers may find that they prefer to use different programs in the car, in restaurants, or while listening to music than they would use for a typical conversation in a quieter environment.

 

When you receive your new Earlens hearing devices, the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) physician will place your custom Lenses into your ears, and then you will see the audiologist who will fit and program your devices to your hearing needs. Your audiologist will ask how things sound, then adjust your Earlens Hearing Aids based on your feedback and your audiogram (hearing test results).

 

During your follow up appointment, usually a week or two after you are first fit with Earlens, your audiologist may continue to fine-tune the programming on your Earlens hearing devices. So, while you are adapting to hearing with Earlens, you should take notes on your listening experience. Some sounds may be louder than usual as you adapt to hearing better in the high frequencies again; however, are there any sounds that are uncomfortably loud? Are there sounds that seem too soft? Are there situations that are more difficult to hear in? Answering these types of questions can help your audiologist adjust Earlens for your needs.

 

Depending on your lifestyle, your audiologist may also create different programs for your Earlens devices. For instance, if you frequently attend concerts and find that music sounds better with certain settings, your audiologist may choose to give you a “Music” program to choose from on your Earlens. Talk to your provider about your day to day activities and let him or her know how you are hearing with Earlens in those different listening environments so that they can make any changes needed.

 

Learn more about Earlens features and benefits by making an appointment with your local Earlens provider.

 

About the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 07.26.18

Can Earlens Help My Tinnitus?

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Earlens Hearing Aids have not been studied as a treatment for tinnitus and is not indicated to treat tinnitus. However, hearing aids more broadly have been shown to provide tinnitus relief in some patients.

 

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, impacts one third of all adults at some point in their lives.* The exact causes of tinnitus remain unknown, although tinnitus is strongly connected to some level of hearing loss, which can be the result of age, long-term hearing damage, or other trauma to the hearing system. Other conditions associated with tinnitus include loud noise exposure, stress, hypertension, smoking and too much caffeine.

 

To treat tinnitus, you should see an audiologist. Tinnitus cannot be directly measured. However, an audiologist can test your hearing to determine if you have a hearing loss that may be contributing to your tinnitus, assess the impact of your tinnitus on your life, and suggest treatment options. Hearing aids have been found to provide tinnitus relief for some patients. A 2008 survey of hearing professionals found that 60% of patients reported some relief of their tinnitus when using hearing aids, with 22% reporting “major relief” of their tinnitus when using hearing aids.**

 

Why can hearing aids be effective in treating tinnitus?  Hearing aids can increase the volume of external sounds to help cover or mask the ringing in the ears. This makes it more difficult to consciously perceive tinnitus so that the brain can focus on other sounds instead. The masking impact of hearing aids can be especially effective for patients whose hearing loss is in the same frequency range as their tinnitus.*** Similarly, sound machines and hearing aids with built-in tinnitus masking can help alleviate tinnitus in quiet environments.

 

If you suffer from tinnitus, make an appointment with an audiologist. He or she can help you better understand tinnitus and discuss tinnitus management options.

 

About the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

 

* Kochkin S, Tyler R, Born J. (2011) MarkeTrak VIII: The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States and the Self-Reported Efficacy of Various Treatments. Hearing Review18(12):10-26.

**Kochkin and Tyler. “Tinnitus Treatment and the Effectiveness of Hearing Aids: Hearing Care Professional Perceptions”, The Hearing Review, December 1, 2008.

***American Tinnitus Association

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posted By: Earlens Web | 07.09.18

Can I Connect Earlens Hearing Aids to My Phone?

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One of the benefits of Earlens Hearing Aids is the ability to connect your hearing aids to select Apple devices. The Made for iPhone (MFi) feature means that Earlens hearing aid users can stream audio, for instance to take calls or listen to music, directly from their Apple device through their hearing aids.

 

“Made for iPhone” or MFi hearing aids eliminate the need for an intermediary device to connect hearing aids to phones. Instead, MFi hearing aids use Bluetooth and a special technology from Apple to connect to select devices, like the iPhone, iPad and iPod*. This enables hearing aid wearers to stream audio from their Apple devices to their ears, like they would with wireless headphones.

 

Not only can Earlens wearers stream audio while watching movies, listening to music and podcasts, making phone calls or using apps like Facetime, but they can also check the battery charge status and adjust the volume on their hearing devices through their smartphones. Earlens Hearing Aid users can also turn their Apple devices into a remote microphone through the live mic feature. Interested users can additionally download a free app from the App Store for access to more features like troubleshooting videos, or to find the last known location of their Earlens hearing devices if they have misplaced them.

 

Earlens wearer David mentions that since he can connect his hearing aids to his smartphone, “the calls sound a lot clearer”, and that he “can listen to music more freely”. See David’s Earlens story or read other Earlens reviews on our Testimonials page.

 

To learn more about the Earlens Made for iPhone Hearing Aid, make an appointment with an Earlens provider near you.

 

About the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

*iPhone, iPad and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 07.03.18

Protect Your Hearing this July 4th

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With Independence Day coming up, many of us are looking forward to backyard barbecues, parades, concerts and fireworks. During the many activities that come with the holiday, it’s important to also take steps to protect our hearing while we enjoy ourselves.

 

Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss and can impact people of any age. Hearing loss can result from a single exceptionally loud noise, or from repeated exposure to noise levels. In normal hearing, sound waves enter the outer ear and travel down the ear canal to vibrate the ear drum. Those vibrations activate tiny bones in the middle ear that trigger fluid vibrations in the cochlea, the sensory organ of hearing. Those vibrations move microscopic hair cells in the cochlea that create electrical signals that travel to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound.

 

Noise exposure can damage the hair cells in the cochlea. When sound vibrations are too large, the fluid motion in the cochlea can bend hair cells to the point of breaking. Since those hair cells cannot grow back, noise-induced hearing loss cannot be reversed. Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented.

 

Earplugs or other protective devices like ear muffs can help when you are watching fireworks or attending a concert. If you find yourself in a dangerously loud environment without ear protection, try to move away from the source of the noise; for instance, by standing behind a speaker instead of in front of it. Be sure to protect children’s ears as well, since sound is further amplified within smaller ear canals.

 

The louder the sound, the more damage it can cause, and the faster that damage can occur. But how do you know how loud is too loud? Sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Researchers have found that people who are exposed to noise levels at or above 85 dB have a much greater risk of hearing loss.* A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation occurs around 60 dB, and city traffic is about 90 dB. If you find yourself having to raise your voice to communicate with someone a few feet away, the noise level is probably above 85 dB. Some smartphone apps can also measure the surrounding decibel level.

 

Don’t sacrifice your hearing while you’re having fun. This July 4th, protect your ears while you’re enjoying the festivities!

 

About the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

 

*M Moselhi et al. “A six-year follow up study for evaluation of the 85 dBA safe criterion for noise exposure” American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal 40:5, published online June 4, 2010.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 06.26.18

Hearing Aid Music Quality

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Despite many advances over the last few years in hearing aid technology, the number one dissatisfaction with hearing aids is unmet expectations of sound quality.* For music lovers, the sound quality associated with hearing aids can be a particular challenge.

 

Is it possible for hearing aids to provide a positive music listening experience? Well, that depends on the frequency range that they are able to amplify. A study by Moore and Tan explored the perceived naturalness of speech and music based on changes in linear filtering. The filters included changing the cutoffs of the upper and lower frequency points, essentially narrowing and widening the bandwidth that the music was played through. They found that the quality of music degraded when the bandwidth was more restricted.

 

Unfortunately, most conventional acoustic hearing aids can only amplify a limited bandwidth of sound before they encounter challenges with feedback or distortion. This is because traditional hearing aids use tiny speakers to amplify sound and send those amplified sound waves toward the eardrum.

 

Music lovers may be excited to hear that there’s a new hearing technology that can finally overcome the limitations of acoustic hearing aids and provide a full spectrum of sound. The Earlens Hearing Aid uses light to transmit sound, eliminating the need for a speaker within the hearing device. By converting sound information into pulses of non-visible light that allows a Lens to directly vibrate the eardrum, Earlens can amplify sound across the bandwidth that is associated with sound that is up to 3x more natural**.

 

Watch real Earlens user reviews of what it is like to listen to music while wearing Earlens. Or, to determine whether Earlens could help you enjoy music more fully again, make an appointment with an Earlens provider in your area.

 

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available from a hearing aid. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

 

*Kochin 2012.

**Moore, B. C., & Tan, C. (2003). Perceived naturalness of spectrally distorted speech and music. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 114(1), 408.

 

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posted By: Earlens Web | 06.20.18

Can I Wear Earlens in Just One Ear?

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If you have hearing loss in both ears, hearing professionals strongly recommend that you wear hearing aids in both ears to optimize the listening benefits.

 

Wearing hearing aids in both ears, or “binaural hearing aids”, has been associated with many hearing benefits, including:

 

  • Better spatial awareness through the ability to determine the direction that sounds are coming from
  • Better ability to understand speech in noisy environments
  • Better feeling of “loudness” for sounds

 

Why are two hearing aids better than one? By wearing two hearing aids you include your hearing range from 180 degrees to a full 360 degrees – like listening to a stereo system with surround sound. Researchers have found that the feeling of loudness generated by a sound doubles when the two ears are used instead of one ear for a sound coming from the front of the listener. At the same time, louder sounds can be heard more comfortably by people who are hearing with both ears instead of just one.*

 

Moreover, if you have hearing loss in both ears but only choose to wear a hearing aid in one ear, the other ear will not receive the auditory stimulation that it would get from a hearing aid. Not surprisingly, research has found that when only one hearing aid is worn, the unaided ear tends to lose its fine-tuned ability to discriminate and understand different sounds. Wearing two hearing aids to keep both ears “active” may potentially mitigate a further decline in your hearing function.**

 

If you have one ear that cannot be aided by hearing aids, it is possible to wear Earlens in one ear. But if you have mild to severe hearing loss in both ears and would like to wear Earlens, it is advisable to wear Earlens Hearing Aids in both ears. Earlens Hearing Aids are not currently compatible with any CROS or BiCROS systems.

 

To learn more about whether Earlens could help you hear better. Schedule an appointment with your local Earlens provider and ask about a sound demonstration to compare Earlens to your existing hearing aids.

 

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available from a hearing aid. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

* Avan P et al. “Importance of Binaural Hearing”. Audiol Neurotol 2015; 20(suppl):3-6.

** Stender T. “On the Benefits of Binaural”. Hearing Review July 2014.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 06.11.18

Hear Better Outdoors this Summer

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Do you miss hearing the sounds of the birds chirping or sand crunching beneath your feet during summer walks? It could be because you’re having trouble hearing in the upper frequencies.

 

Conventional hearing aids have difficulty providing meaningful amplification in the higher frequencies. This is because they rely on tiny speakers to amplify sound. Unfortunately, tiny speakers can only amplify a narrow bandwidth of sound without experiencing the drawbacks of feedback (whistling) or distortion. For a sense of the difference between conventional hearing aid bandwidth and perfect hearing, consider that perfect hearing ranges from 20 Hz in the low frequencies all the way up to 20,000 Hz in the high frequencies. In contrast, hearing aids can usually only amplify sound from ~750 Hz – 5500 Hz.

 

A new hearing technology eliminates the need for a speaker. The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid relies on light instead of a speaker to transmit sound. How does it work? In Earlens, a Processor that is worn like a behind-the-ear hearing aid captures sound, which is then converted into pulses of non-visible light by a Light Tip, which is worn in the ear canal. Those pulses of light contain sound information, which vibrates a tiny custom Lens on the eardrum, activating the ear’s natural hearing system. This unique way of working allows Earlens Hearing Aids to deliver the broadest bandwidth of any hearing aid on the market.

 

Not only does Earlens provide meaningful amplification in the low frequencies all the way down to 100 Hz, but it excels at providing audibility in the high frequencies that conventional hearing aids have so much trouble with. Not only is this important because better hearing in the high frequencies has been correlated with the ability to understand speech more easily in challenging listening environments*, but also because better hearing in the high frequencies can help us enjoy the world around us better again. For instance, Earlens wearer Barbara W. explained, “I can hear the birds that I never heard before. It’s like experiencing more of the world, and it’s very pleasurable. And, it’s very empowering.”

 

Hear Barbara’s story or watch more Earlens reviews on our Earlens Testimonials page. To learn more about what Earlens could do for you, visit your local Earlens provider.

 

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available from a hearing aid. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

*Levy SC et al.  Extended High-Frequency Bandwidth Improves Speech Reception in the Presence of Spatially Separated Masking Speech.  Ear Hear. 2015 Sep-Oct;36(5):e214-24.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 05.22.18

Hearing Loss and Relationships

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Last week, we talked about the link between hearing loss and heart health. But this week, we want to talk about hearing loss and a different kind of heart health – relationships!

 

Hearing is a critical aspect of our ability to communicate, and communication is an integral part of our ability to connect with the people around us. So, hearing loss can certainly have a negative impact on relationships that are important to us. In a 2009 British study by Specsavers Hearing Centres, 44% of 1,500 people with hearing loss who were surveyed reported that their hearing loss had caused relationships with their partner, friends or family to suffer.

 

Fortunately, hearing aids can improve day to day communication with friends and loved ones. For instance, in a study from the National Council on the Aging (NCOA), hearing aid users reported “significant improvements in many areas of their lives”, including their relationships at home and social life.

 

If you’ve tried hearing aids and are still having trouble getting the clarity or sound quality that you desire, you may wish to consider a new kind of hearing technology. The new Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid uses light to transmit sound and directly vibrate the eardrum. Earlens works very differently from conventional digital hearing aids, which rely on tiny speakers to amplify sound.

 

A broader frequency range has been associated with more natural sound quality and the ability to understand speech more easily.* But, since speakers are limited in the bandwidth that they can amplify without feedback or distortion, conventional hearing aids are limited in the sound quality that they can provide. By eliminating the need to use a speaker to transmit sound, the Earlens hearing device can deliver a broader frequency range for more complete sound than any other hearing aid on the market.

 

If you currently wear hearing aids but are still not fully satisfied with the sound quality or your ability to understand friends and loved ones, Earlens Hearing Aids may be able to help. Learn more about Earlens hearing devices and ask for a sound demonstration to compare Earlens to your existing hearing aid by making an appointment with an Earlens provider near you.

 

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available from a hearing aid. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

 

*Moore, B. C., & Tan, C. (2003). Perceived naturalness of spectrally distorted speech and music. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 114(1), 408. Levy SC et al.  Extended High-Frequency Bandwidth Improves Speech Reception in the Presence of Spatially Separated Masking Speech.  Ear Hear. 2015 Sep-Oct;36(5):e214-24.

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posted By: Earlens Web | 05.02.18

Welcome to Better Hearing & Speech Month!

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Did you know that May is Better Hearing & Speech Month? Each May offers a chance to raise awareness about communication issues, like hearing loss, which can take many forms and impact people of all ages.

 

If you think you may have hearing loss, you should consider seeing an audiologist. Audiologists are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, identification, diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders. To determine whether you should have your hearing checked, or should consider a new hearing technology, answer the questions below. If you answer “yes” to more than one, see an audiologist.

 

  • Do you have a problem hearing on the phone?

 

  • Do you hear better in one ear than the other when on the phone?

 

  • Do you have a hard time understanding the conversation when more than one person is talking at once?

 

  • Do your friends or family tell you that you watch TV with the volume turned up too high?

 

  • Do you have trouble hearing when it is noisy?

 

  • Do you have trouble hearing in restaurants?

 

  • Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?

 

Answering “yes” to any of the questions above could indicate that you have a hearing loss. Or, if you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss and are using hearing aids, answering “yes” could mean that you would benefit from a different hearing solution.

 

For instance, the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid can offer existing hearing aid wearers who are not satisfied with their current solutions a new kind of listening experience. Earlens offers a broader frequency range than any other hearing aid on the market for more complete sound. This is important because studies have shown that a broader frequency range is associated with perceptions of more natural sound quality, as well as the ability to understand speech more easily.* In fact, in a recent study of experienced hearing aid users, participants preferred Earlens 4:1 over their current premium acoustic hearing aids.**

 

To see an audiologist or learn whether Earlens Hearing Aids could help you hear better, make an appointment with an Earlens audiologist near you.

 

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid is one of the best hearing aids for providing audible amplification across a broad frequency range. Earlens is a digital hearing aid that uses light to transmit sound for the most complete hearing available from a hearing aid. Earlens automatically adjusts to noisy environments and uses a rechargeable battery with wireless charging for enhanced ease of use. Learn more about Earlens’ new hearing aid technology and full product details.

 

*Moore, B. C., & Tan, C. (2003). Perceived naturalness of spectrally distorted speech and music. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 114(1), 408. Levy SC et al.  Extended High-Frequency Bandwidth Improves Speech Reception in the Presence of Spatially Separated Masking Speech.  Ear Hear. 2015 Sep-Oct;36(5):e214-24.

 

** Data on file at Earlens.

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