Some years ago, an article was published by Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. Dr. Trychin had done a hearing aid workshop in the south, and one of the participants was a woman in her early seventies who appeared to be quite wealthy. He gave her a new hearing device, which allowed her to understand much more than she had in years. She kept raving about this “wonderful” device. At lunchtime, she left it in the room when they went out to a restaurant to eat. When he asked her why she didn’t take it along, her response was, “Oh, it doesn’t go with my outfit.”
Many people don’t want hearing aids for the same reason. In the world of digital technology, though, hearing devices that completely hide in the ear canal are overcoming this barrier. These devices are small and precise, and they are completely unnoticeable to others.
As hearing devices get smaller and performance gets better, we are seeing a shift in those who come into our office. These patients are young people, CEOs, bankers, teachers — all afraid of what their employer or girlfriends will think if they wear a hearing device. Once they see the selection of devices and hold them in their hand, though, they get excited. We often hear, “Oh, that’s not what I was expecting.”
The variety of choices in the world of “invisible” hearing devices might surprise consumers. Originally, “invisible” analog devices were purchased on a subscription basis and were not removable by the wearer. Things have chance, and now digital devices allow for customer fitting, custom computer programming, and daily removal.
It is vital that consumers understand their options. Hearing concerns are addressable in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and prices. So many patients fear that only the most expensive hearing devices are small — which is not true. A typical “invisible” hearing aid is a custom-made device that sits very close to the eardrum and is removed daily via a small string that sits in the ear canal. It runs on battteries, which our office provides for the life of the device. Manufacturer warranties on these devices tend to vary between one and three years and are included at no additional cost.
At Decibels Audiology, we view the process of consultation, fitting, and adjustments to the devices as a relationship — whether patients decide to go with “invisible” hearing aids or other types of devices. Determining the right technology for each individual patient is vital. For more information on these types of “invisible” hearing aids, please give us a call! Our phone number is 239-593-5327.