Dr. Wright's Blog

Hearing Aids and Working Memory

Dr. Samira Anderson is a Ph.D in Auditory Neuroscience.  Recently, she conducted a study with a control group of 32 people with hearing loss.  Both groups were fit with hearing aids, but the experimental group of 18 people, wore their hearing aids a minimum of 8 hours a day for six months. The control (N=14) only used the hearing aids during the testing. 

What she found was that the group who wore hearing aids for six months had an improvement in their working memory scores. These findings suggest that improved neural processing and ease of listening through the use of hearing aids may free up brain resources that can be allocated for memory.

What is working memory?

To read the full article, click this link below:

http://canadianaudiologist.ca/issue/volume-6-issue-1-2019/column/hearing-brain-mysteries/

Phonak Marvel Demo Event

From February 11-14, 2019 we are offering people in our community the opportunity to try the newest hearing technology for a month in their own environments.  If you are already signed up for the event, this is what your experience will look like:

Appointment Day:  You will come to our clinic for your appointment and have your hearing assessed by our Audiologist Erin Wright. Should she determine that hearing aids may be beneficial, you will be fit with a set of Phonak Marvel 90 rechargeable hearing aids on that day by another of our Audiologists.  You will be shown how to use them, how to connect them to your phone (should you wish) and how to work them with a TV.  You will then leave the clinic with them, all free of charge.

Your first follow up appointment will be two weeks later.  This will give you a chance to test them out in your real-world environments and discuss the sound quality or the way they feel in your ears with your Audiologist.  Adjustments may be made, and you will head home again with them for two more weeks.

At your four-week appointment, you can return them if you feel they are not meeting your needs or purchase them should you feel they are improving your quality of life.  At this point, you will have an additional 2-month trial period should you change your mind and want a refund or want to change products to a different hearing aid manufacturer.

The last time we did a demo event was in late 2016 for the Oticon Opn product which was a leap ahead at the time.  We believe now that the Phonak Marvel has a new chip which is worth testing. 

http://www.hearingreview.com/2018/10/phonak-launches-marvel-universal-binaural-streaming-new-level-sound-quality/

Phonak has launched this product nationally with a promotional price for the first three months.  The pricing on the Marvel is discounted until the end of February 2019.  Please call our clinic if you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity. If you can’t make the Feb 11-14 dates, let us know and we will make it work for you.

Audiologists

Q:  I have hearing loss and have been told to deal with it.  Should I just get hearing aids?

A: Hearing loss is an injury to the body that needs appropriate management, just like any other injury.  If you have injured your knee, you may seek out a combination of medication, physical therapy, a knee brace and possibly surgery to manage your injury.  Think of hearing loss in the same way as managing another complex injury in your body.

 

Attached below is the position statement from Speech Audiology Canada (SAC) that states that Audiologists are “experts and leaders in designing and providing Aural Rehabilitation”.  Aural Rehabilitation is the process of managing hearing loss which includes appropriate and comprehensive diagnostics, unbiased technology recommendation, counselling, and group therapy to better understand communication strategies and environmental modifications. Speech Audiology Canada (SAC) is the national advocacy organization for Audiologists.

Position Statement

Audiologists are experts in this field.

There is clearly a plethora of choices in Victoria to get hearing aids, but of the over 25 locations in Victoria, less than 5 will guarantee that your care will be in the hands of an Audiologist. Broadmead and Oak Bay Hearing Clinics have only Audiologists on staff to manage your hearing loss.

If you have any questions or would like to see one of our Audiologists please feel free to contact us and we'd be happy to book you in.

 

Phonak launches the new Marvel Hearing Aids

Apple introduced technology in their iPhones in 2012 to work first with Resound hearing aids.  Since then, every manufacturer of hearing aids has released a hearing aid to work with apple devices to allow for direct streaming of audio from the phone straight to the hearing aids, effectively working like wireless headphones.

Phonak held strong to its belief that it was going to hold off on launching a product until they could crack the android code. 

And…finally, they have succeeded!

Check out the detailed information below about the new product that is available to order November 28, 2019.

https://hearinghealthmatters.org/blog/2018/phonak-audeo-m-rechargeable-bluetooth-streaming-android-iphone/

Give us a call if you are interested in a demo of these new hearing aids.  250-479-2969

Oticon Rechargeable Hearing Aid Update

The fall of 2017 was all about rechargeable hearing aids.  Oticon, Widex, Starkey, Resound and Unitron all worked with a company called Zpower https://zpowerbattery.com/ to produce a silver-zinc rechargeable battery option for the above-named hearing aid companies. The benefit of this style of battery is that it can be interchanged with a regular disposable battery.  Unlike Lithium-ion batteries, the battery is not encased into the hearing aid.

The downside to this style of battery is that about 15-20% of people using them find the batteries are dying after only 6-8 hours of use.  Oticon had a solution to change the rechargeable battery door which was an improvement in the battery life for many people.  However, some people continue to have difficulties with this type of battery.

Z power has launched a charger firmware update that should be installed into your charger if you are having difficulties with the length of time you are getting from one charge.  If you look at your charger, you will see that there is a USB plug that fits into the wall charger.  Unplug the cord from the wall plug in and plug the USB end into your computer. Do not put your hearing aids into the charger when updating.

Then you will need to download this firmware updater into your charger.  Open the link below to update your charger:

https://zpowerhearing.com/fwupdates/

Other helpful tips include

  1. Always fully charge the batteries until the light in the charging dock is solid green. This takes approximately 7 hours.
  2. Wipe off any moisture on the hearing aids or charging dock before charging using a soft tissue.  Do not use rubbing alcohol or other chemicals
  3. If you are not using your hearing aids for an extended period of time, take the batteries out.

Look here for a useful video about best practices for the charging process:

ZPower Best Practices