Receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids: Advanced sound quality with room to grow providing one of the best hearing solutions

Oticon Delta

Over the years hearing instrument technology has evolved as components have gotten smaller, all greatly benefiting the hearing aid wearer.  In 2006, with the introduction of the Delta, Oticon revolutionized the industry.  The Delta was the world’s first receiver-in-canal hearing aid system.  It meant, for the large population of hearing loss patients with high frequency hearing loss, they had an option truly designed for them.  

The concept was to “float” the receiver (speaker) in the canal using a soft silicone based, perforated dome to hold it in place.  This allowed the canal to remain open, thus allowing the low frequencies which the client could hear naturally to enter the ear normally.  The speaker would simply introduce the mid to high frequencies the client was lacking to fill in the sound more efficiently.

Since then, like Chrysler in the 80′s with the mini-van, all manufacturers launched a version of the style to compete.  Further innovations included the ability to change the receiver (speaker) for a strong power level.  Today you can have the same hearing aid starting with the standard 45dB rec up to a high power 75dB.  This means that if your hearing were to deteriorate, we’d simply have to swap out the speaker for a more powerful one and reprogram the aid – instead of having to buy a whole new aid!

With multiple receiver tip dome options, soft and hard custom fit molds, ease of in-house repair and maintenance, available IP57 (water and dust proof rating), Bluetooth connectivity, and so much more, it is no wonder this style of instrument remains the cornerstone of hearing aid sales today.

Siemens sold! Welcome Sivantos


Siemens SOLD

Siemens, the world’s oldest hearing aid company, after decades of innovations, has sold its hearing aid division.

Siemens AG sold its Siemens Audiology Solutions unit to the Stockholm-based private-equity firm EQT Partners AB and Germany’s Strüngmann family of entrepreneurs as co-investors. The purchase price is €2.15 billion ($2.67 billion) and the sale passed regulatory approval on January 15.

Both EQT, with the Wallenberg family as primary investors, and the Struengmann family have extensive experience in the healthcare industry. EQT is a growth-oriented investment company managing around €22 billion ($27 billion) in assets and proven expertise in the healthcare and medical engineering sector. It is the owner of LBX, one of the largest pharmacy chains in China’s growth market. Germany’s Strüngmann family of entrepreneurs is also known for its focus on long-term growth. In 1986, the family founded Hexal, which has since become Germany’s leading provider of generic drugs.

The new division will operate under the corporate banner of Sivantos while, for the short term, continue to market their devices under the Siemens and Rexton names.  This transaction comes as the latest product, BINAX, is launched.  This new product is touted as providing better-than-normal hearing in noisy situations.

We will be watching to see the influence that the new owners will have on the company and remain optimistic with renewed focus.

New Products added to VAC/DVA and WSIB grids

Veterans now have a new option for their new aids.  Oticon Canada has had their ALTA product line approved by Veterans Affairs Canada.  This line includes  both in the ear and behind the ear options. This aid is a highly successful instrument which is providing great results with clients.  Oticon’s level of automation means that most clients will never have to adjust their hearing aids regardless of their listening situation.  Add to this the miniaturization Oticon has been able to achieve, even with power level hearing aids, means that clients may now be able to select a small device with sufficient power for their loss – No more compromising size for performance!

binax1Also new, for WSIB claimants, is the Siemens Binax behind-the-ear product line.  This new product is being promoted as providing better-than–normal hearing results in noisy situations.  Time will tell as this is a new product.  Early feedback has been positive.

Warranties – How you are protected?

When purchasing hearing aids, Many clients are either unaware or look at the warranty as an afterthought.  You must remember that not all hearing aid clinics offer the same coverage.  It may very well be the same device, but warranties can differ.

Most of our models come standard, with a 3 year repair warranty at no additional cost, hidden or otherwise, to the client. Extended warranties up to 5 years are available, and the cost may vary, depending on manufacturer.

Some clinics may offer longer warranty at the onset, but usually include the cost of longer warranties in the price of the device, a service plan, or other charges included on the invoice.

Furthermore, there is typically Loss and Damage coverage also offered by the manufacturers.  This would apply to a hearing instrument that is lost, or destroyed (One of the most common reasons for claim: “My dog ate my hearing aid!”).  This coverage is usually 1 year (many of our suppliers grant us 2 year) and may be subject to an additional fee. It will apply one-time-only, per side.

For complete information regarding warranties and your coverage, call today!

 

Oticon launches new simplified remote – FINALLY!

This month, Oticon launched a new simple remote for those who do not use or need the technology laden streamer Pro.

Copyright Oticon Canada

The remote is light and runs off of 2 AAAA batteries.  No, that is not a typo, that 4As.  They can be tough to find, but Siemens has been using this battery size in their ProPocket for years.

Without an internal battery, it means that clients will be able to use this remote for years without worrying that the remote will need to be replaced WHEN the battery stops maintaining a charge.

The ergonomics of the remote are straight-forward and simple.  Three buttons, Vol +, Vol –, and Program change. This will also appeal to those with vision or sense-of-touch issues.

This option has been a long sought after addition to the Oticon menu.

 

 

Tinnitus Management Trial Summary

Some of you may have read the news item regarding our clinic having been selected for a clinical trial of a new hearing instrument designed to help tinnitus suffers.  This trial has now concluded and below you will read of some basic results.

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First, it should be noted that there were 15 clinics in the trial.  Findlay Creek Hearing is proud to say the community involvement in the trial was unmatched.  It was a great success for all involved and we would like to thank all of you who participated in the trial for both your time and dedicated input.

This new technology afforded us an opportunity to address tinnitus suffers needs in a way that has never been available prior to the introduction of this technology.  The combination of programs, user interface, masking and retraining settings are truly astounding.

This technology, developed by one of the largest manufacturers of hearing instruments in the world, has now been released and is available across Canada and the US.

The trial was launched with staggered implementation.  As of the end of June, the participants had all been processed.  Over the summer months we reviewed the results prior to forward to the manufacturer.

The main goal of the trial was introduce a tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) model with masking option in order to ease the symptoms of tinnitus.  Tinnitus is defined as an internal perception of sound.  The program we introduced to our clients included the use of the instruments as well as individual counselling on the various triggers and potential causes of tinnitus.  As always, we took a holistic approach to the program.

The majority of clients did have a hearing loss in conjunction with tinnitus; however it should be noted that we did have clients without hearing loss whom benefited greatly from use of the hardware. One client went so far as to add that for years “I’ve had this knot in my forehead – tension – and it’s going away!” He later commented on the change in his demeanor that was noticed by his friend and colleagues.  As he reported: “They could tell this was working.”

A small percentage of clients reported no short-term benefit of the TRT systems. Those with hearing loss found the amplification to be clear and comfortable.  There was no comfort, or fit issues that could not be resolved in clinic.

In the end, almost seventy-five percent of clients who used the devices decided to continue with the program after the completion of the trial.  All had used the tinnitus retraining program as their primary default and, as of the end of June; fifty-eight of participants used a modulating masking program occasionally.  All participants experimented with the manual volume and sound support level controls, but for the majority, they let the aid in the automatic setting.

Issues found during the trial were more of a technical nature such as managing volume control.  These issues were reported and a solution presented within the trial timeframe.

For more information on tinnitus and our management systems, call to book a consultation.

Starkey Launches New Rechargeable battery system

Starkey has introduced a new rechargeable battery system call VFusion.  The system in only available

with in 312 and 13 sizes of batteries.  This rechargeable system is designed to work with Starkey products only.

This product competes with the rechargeable systems from Siemens. The Siemens system has been around several years and the biggest issue has been the life of the battery.  Siemens rechargeable are getting an average reported lifespan of 10-12 hours of use, depending on hearing loss.

The biggest difference is that this unit is designed to work with non-wireless hearing aid systems.  This means you give up:

  • Binaural Spatial Mapping
  • Synchronized User Adjustments
  • Wireless connectivity using SurfLink
  • Intelligent Media Mobility
  • Wireless connectivity using SurfLink Remote

For some clients this is a non-issue.  Starkey uses the lack of energy drain, that the wireless systems cause, to extend the wear time to a reported minimum of 16 hours between charges.

A nice feature is that the charger can work off of a USB port or standard wall outlet, however it does require the user to remove the batteries from the aids and place them in the charger.

This is a disadvantage for Starkey, as the Siemens product allows the entire hearing aid to placed directly into the charger and once the top is closed, it begins charging. Much simpler and is a huge advantage for those with dexterity issues. 

So there are positives and negatives to both systems, ultimately as we always say, there is no one solution for everyone.  It is your individual needs that determine which product works best for you.

Call today for more details!

 

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NEW TINNITUS MANAGEMENT CLINICAL TRIAL

We are proud to announce that Findlay Creek Hearing Care has been chosen to be one of a select few clinics across Canada, and the only clinic in Eastern Ontario, Picture1for a clinical trial of a new tinnitus management technology.  This non-invasive solution has been developed by a leader in the industry and they have selected Canada to be the launching point for this technology in North America.

Trials are set to begin March 14, 2014.

There is no cost to clients during the trial.

If you suffer from chronic tinnitus and are looking for help, then call today to register for this great opportunity.   

Participants who continue with the system after trial may be eligible for the Assistive Device Program grant from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care AND will be provided an additional system to aid with sleeping. This additional offer is valued at approximately $300 and will be at no cost to successful participants.

To be one of the first to try this technology register by calling our office at 613-916-6111 today!

Which is the Best Hearing Aid on the Market?

This is a question that we have been plagued with since the dawn of hearing aids.  The truth is the best hearing aid on the market is the one that works for you by meeting all of your needs.

If we look at market share, there are 4 companies competing for the lion’s share of the market. However, this looks at market share by sales volume.  Looking at the data (available in office) you will see that Sonova and William Demant Holdings fight for top honors with 24% and 23% of the market respectively, followed by Siemens with 17% and Resound with 16%.  This leaves 20% for the other manufactures to split. Consumers have to ask the question: Why?

Sonova, for example has established a distribution point for it’s Phonak and Unitron hearing aids through a chain of dispensing clinics in Canada.  This relationship means that Phonak has guaranteed sales through it distribution chain.  William Demant Holdings, has acquired it’s own distribution chain for it’s Oticon and Bernafon products. It’s happening everywhere. The key concern of course is conflict of interest and the government is watching closely.

You can not only consider market share or who is the biggest. The fact is there is no “one hearing aid that works for every single client.  If there was, these companies would not exist. The consumer needs to be aware that they all offer something different. Widex, for example, has been a forerunner in hearing instruments to help those with tinnitus.The only way the consumer can know which is best if by having the option to chose the aid from all that are available.

You must be free to chose and try the various hearing aids and see which is best for you! Personally, I have had countless clients come in frustrated with their hearing and the aids they have.  I listen to them and chose a manufacturer that addresses their needs, concerns, and complaints. The response is more often: ” I didn’t realize I could hear this well with a hearing aid!”

Therefore, it’s not really about hearing aids it’s about options, product and market knowledge, service, and support. Consumers need to deal with a clinic that is truly independent and be free to chose the company that works best for them.

For more information, call today.  We’d be happy to answer all of your questions.

 

New Cost Effective Hearing Aid Solution from Coselgi

Coselgi, is the latest international hearing aid company to come to Canada.  Here at Coselgi hearing aids - living lifeFindlay Creek Hearing Care, we are proud to one of the first clinics in Canada to add this product to our extensive list of offerings.

Coselgi was founded in Italy in 1961 by Vittorio Giannetti. For much of its history, Coselgi has been a leading provider of advanced acoustic hearing aids. Coselgi products are now sold in over 30 countries. Coselgi was bought by Danish hearing aid manufacturer Widex in 2012. The company is headquartered in Lynge, Denmark.

Melodia, Coselgi’s Canadian offering, helps take the strain out of listening and gives you a pleasant sound experience – wherever you are. These hearing aids utilizes WDRC, which in many cases is a more familiar and natural sound system to experienced users. Targeted toward end user who prefers no manual controls, the aids are priced attractively. They, like all other hearing aids, are available in several price ranges based of the level of technology.

Benefits of Coselgi Melodia: 

  • Provides clear and natural sound
  • Retains the delicate intonations and nuances of conversations
  • Adjusts to your environment automatically
  • Melodia hearing aids connect wirelessly with each other
  • Truly discreet; can be adjusted with Remote Control
  • Enjoy sound directly from your TV with the TV-Control

An array of discreet, fashionable colours and styles means there is a Melodia solution for everyone. Coselgi is built and distributed by Widex Canada out of Burlington Ontario. So to our new offering, we say Benvenuto!

Call today to find out more!

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