In today’s commoditized world, it is easy to see hearing instruments as a widget. You see online ads for cheap hearing aids. You can walk into a Costco and purchase good hearing technology at a very cheap price. However, hearing instruments are not a commodity. They are a regulated medical device and need to be fit and used in a manner prescribed by the FDA and your hearing healthcare provider. They are not just a widget that are a one-size-fits-all.
That being said, personalization and customization are incredibly important. Precise and thorough diagnostic testing is critical, as is the fitting process followed by your hearing care provider. Although fitting software “first fit” is a good start, it takes real ear measurements and experience to actually program hearing aids that are appropriate for each individual. It’s easy to purchase off the shelf RIC (receiver in the canal) hearing aids off the internet, but many people find a more precise and comfortable fit with custom ear molds made to work these products.
Another concern for many patients is cosmetics. Hearing instruments that are less visible are more appealing to many. I’ve come across a great product that can make RIC hearing aids more cosmetically pleasing. Using a product named Vanish, I can actually dye the clear shiny tubing to match a patient’s skin color. The tubing is much less noticeable! Here are the differences, before and after:
Here is the tubing reinstalled into the patient’s hearing instrument, and fitted into a custom ear mold:
Hearing instruments customized and personalized lead to patients who happily WEAR their devices and find the most benefit over time. My goal is to provide the most accurate diagnostic testing, provide the best technology that is appropriate for your hearing and your needs (including your budget!), and then personalize the instruments for you.
Call our office today to see how we can custom tailor a hearing solution for you.