If you are surfing the web to get information about hearing aids before you buy, you are doing the right thing. The internet has begun to provide competition to an industry that has a unique and powerful hold over the sale of personal sound amplifying instruments. More and more companies are offering hearing aids, assisted listening devices, starter amplifiers and a variety of other instruments. From the simple buy it direct on line to the more complicated three or four step process; these buying opportunities are helping a very large and growing market discover that hearing help can be affordable.
The hearing industry has been a highly regulated industry for no apparent reason. The rational and methods implemented to maintain their hold on the dispensing of hearing aids and thus control the cost is beginning to erode. Like our eyes our ears ability diminishes as we age. With the advent of advanced medical science we will all live longer and better lives. But right now there are no pills for the eyes or ears. Ready made eyeglass magnifiers have been available for many years. No exams, medical waivers, fittings, and associated fees, they are readily available and affordable. Senior citizens thanks to new developments are now able to easily purchase an affordable hearing aid and control their own volume.
Leading the way the open ear style hearing aid (also called open fit) brings a very effective and affordable solution to the 3rd most common ailment of aging, (hearing loss is only behind arthritis and hypertension). The open ear style is a very small, highly sophisticated, 100% digital hearing device that provides comfortable, clear and natural sound quality while being nearly invisible when worn, and it does not plug the ear. The open ear style incorporates the best of amplification technology and universal fit components into an instrument designed to help you hear and understand speech. The open ear can also be manufactured and distributed affordably.
The open ear style benefits:
*No occlusion effect – the plugged sensation of traditional hearing aids.
*When you wear the open ear own voice sounds natural.
*Most include advanced feedback cancellation which helps eliminate the whistling that can occur with traditional hearing aids.
*Helps you hear and understand conversations in noisy rooms and listen to the TV without disturbing others.
*It is difficult for anyone to see the device.
*No custom ear molds required.
Many of us can hear speech we but can’t understand it. That’s because the most common type of hearing loss is high frequency hearing loss. Which means you can hear low frequency (bass) sounds quite well but will have trouble hearing the high frequency (treble) sounds. A high frequency hearing loss is most commonly associated with aging, noise exposure and tinnitus.
Conventional hearing aids plug the ear, helping to amplify the needed high frequency sounds, however all sound has to pass through the device so all sounds are amplified. To compensate, these devices require individual testing, custom programming and custom fitting to the wearer, making them expensive and often causing annoying side-effects such as, feedback, occlusion, discomfort and more.
The common high frequency loss makes it difficult to hear soft voices and to discern the spoken consonants, therefore understanding what is being said is troublesome normally, and becomes almost impossible when you are in noisy environments. Specifically designed to increase amplification in the voice range frequencies while minimizing the amplification of background noise frequencies, the open ear style provides volume and clarity for increased speech recognition. Pre-programming the open ear to provide hearing help for the vast majority and removing the expenses of testing, office visits, individual programming and custom molds makes sense.
Anybody who is having hearing difficulty needs to see a medical doctor and find out if simple amplification is appropriate for their condition, as you do with any ailment. Hearing aids are becoming available in two categories: those that require a professional for programming or fitting (molds etc.), and those hearing aids that do not need a professional for fitting. For the last category, the open ear style will lead the way and become just like other items over the counter that do not require a professional or a prescription.
The hearing industry argument that hearing amplification should not be readily available for health or safety issues holds no water. Has anyone ever died using a generic hearing device? IPOD users put plugs into their ears, and the sounds they produce sometime exceed 120Db – a dangerous level. Open ear hearing aids deserve the same uninhibited access by consumers. They will not work for everybody but will allow the majority of more than 25 million seniors that need hearing help, but cannot afford it, an opportunity to improve their lifestyle.
They deserve it.
Glenn is a marketing consultant. Along the way he spent: 9 years in the Navy, the last four training Navy personal nuclear submarine power plant operation and maintenance; 11 years with the Sperry Corporation, working with the Department of Defense in the development of digital image capture, storage and retrieval and 18 years in marketing including managing a television production company, and as the original Vice President of Marketing for Paxson Broadcasting which was the genesis of the ION television network. www.nextdayears.com