For millions of Americans with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss, new “open Ear” technology offers many advantages over traditional hearing aid fitting approaches. Typically older technology would block the normal hearing ranges while trying to boost the high frequency regions (2 to6Khz). The result left the hearing aid user with a plugged up sensation that made wearing hearing aids almost intolerable.
Thanks to advances in digital technology, sound can now be delivered to the ear at prescribed levels without the occlusion effect. In the world of open fittings, true useable gain is the foundation of speech intelligibility. A very small thin tube delivers digitally processed sound to the eardrum from a small processor located behind the ear. This type of fitting, keeps the ear open to lower-pitched sounds that don’t need amplification. Help can be delivered to the high frequency consonant regions because acoustic feedback can now be better controlled by digital feedback suppression routines that are the hallmark of “open fitting” technologies. As a result it is now possible to attain stability a hearing aid user wants and needs without sacrificing speech intelligibility or compromise on occlusion and sound quality.
Also SoundRecover technology from Phonak (Spring 2011 newsletter article) can extend the high frequency bandwidth by compressing certain frequencies and then shift them to a lower frequency range. This proprietary algorithm helps to overcome significant damage to hair-cell receptors in the inner ear as well as limitiations of even wide band receivers in hearing aids today.
The bottom line is fully automatic hearing instruments that can automatically adjust to your listening environments with natural sound quality and without feedback. The small processor and thin tubing is cosmetically appealing and the improved clarity, especially in the presence of background is a welcome benefit.
Call our apex office at 919-363-9311 or our Sanford office at 919-774-6829 to see if you are a candidate for the “open fitting” technology. And come learn about the Resound Pulse, the world’s first intelligent, rechargeable hearing instrument.
Toll Free for all offices: 877-718-3277