Hearing Aid Services San Jose CA.

We live in an age that is sometimes referred to as the Information or the Communications Era. While all the five senses are important for human well-being, it is undeniable that the sense of hearing probably plays a dominant role in controlling our ability to communicate and comprehend information. At the same time, we sit on the cusp of significant growth in the hearing impaired population in North America. Recent statistical studies show that by 2010, over 33 million Americans will suffer from hearing loss. And this number will swell to 53 million by 2050!

But what exactly is hearing loss and who should be concerned?

Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in the ability to hear. The severity of the loss can range from mild to profound loss. While hearing loss can impact anyone from infants to adults, it is more commonly seen in certain age groups (geriatric population), individuals exposed to higher levels of noise and in individuals with some hereditary medical conditions. In addition, hearing loss is occurring in younger and younger age groups due to a significant rise in recreational (iPods, cell phones, gaming) and environmental noise.


  When to Consider A Hearing Evaluation
  Our Excellent Hearing Health Services
  The Hearing Aid Evaluation and Fitting Process
  Styles of Hearing Aids
  Pediatric Hearing Aid Services
  Our Top Selling Hearing Aids & Hearing Aid Technology
  When Traditional Hearing Aids are Not an Option
  Earlens Hearing Aid Processor

There are some very telling signs that a hearing loss may exist. Patients commonly complain about the inability to hear in the presence of background noise, they may turn the TV on too loud, have trouble listening clearly on a phone, ask their family to repeat things or they may miss parts of the conversation.

When To Consider A Hearing Evaluation

  • Do you feel embarrassed when you meet new people due to difficulties with hearing?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing in a restaurant with relatives or friends?
  • Do you feel that your hearing limits or negatively affects your personal or social life?
  • Does a hearing problem result in frustration when talking to members of your family?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper?
  • Do you have difficulty when listening to TV or radio?
  • Do you have arguments with family members because of your difficulty hearing?
  • Do you avoid large groups of people due to your poor hearing?
  • Do you have difficulty when visiting friends, relatives or neighbors
  • Do you feel burdened by a hearing problem?


Our Excellent Hearing Health Services

The synergy between the physicians and audiologists at EARS Inc. is what sets us apart from other hearing aid centers. Our unique approach to patient care combines excellence in both disciplines. As many hearing conditions are surgically reversible, a medical evaluation of the cause and type of hearing loss is generally advised prior to proceeding with the process of obtaining a hearing aid. Your evaluation begins with a thorough diagnostic audiogram performed by our licensed audiologists, all who are trained to Masters and Doctorate levels. An evaluation by one of the medical team members is recommended to ensure a hearing aid is medically indicated and to evaluate and counsel you regarding the type, cause and prognosis of your hearing loss. Medical conditions of the ear canal are important to treat prior to obtaining a hearing aid. Most vital, your treatment options will be outlined and reviewed. If a surgical procedure is possible to better improve your hearing, you will receive all the current information and options that exist to treat you, including investigative clinical trials. If hearing aids are in your best interest, or what you prefer, the physicians and audiologists will coordinate a treatment plan that will ensure a comfortable and successful hearing aid fit. You will be offered an appointment to meeting with the audiology staff to discuss your hearing aid and assistive device options, but the medical evaluation of your ear and hearing loss will also continue in one convenient location by our skilled team.

How Hearing Aids Work

The modern hearing aid can help people with hearing loss be able to communicate and function in society, but it cannot restore normal hearing. A hearing aid amplifies sounds (makes them louder). While they may amplify some types of sounds more than others, at the time they cannot be made or programmed to amplify only one type of sound, such as a voice.

All hearing aids consist of the following components:

  • a microphone to detect sound
  • an amplifier to make the sound louder
  • a speaker to deliver the sound into the ear
  • batteries to power the hearing aid

How Do I Know a Hearing Aid is Right For Me?

The first step in determining whether you need a hearing aid is to be evaluated by an experienced licensed audiologist. You may wish to first schedule an appointment with one of our medical staff to discuss the cause of your hearing loss and review alternatives to hearing aids. A full diagnostic audiogram will be conducted to evaluate the type and severity of your hearing loss.

After your audiogram and medical evaluation, we may recommend you proceed with a hearing aid evaluation. For your convenience, a hearing aid evaluation can be scheduled on the same day as your audiogram and medical evaluation. Just let us know and we can accommodate your needs.


The Hearing Aid Evaluation and Fitting Process

The hearing aid evaluation is an appointment with one of our licensed hearing care professionals who specializes in the fitting of hearing aids. The appointment is free of charge and you are under no obligation to purchase a hearing aid. Your appointment will be approximately one hour, and you are encouraged to bring a family member with you. We will evaluate your hearing needs, audiogram results, lifestyle, activities, manual dexterity, situations in which you are having difficulty hearing and your cosmetic concerns. These factors are considered with medical information such as the shape and health of your ear canal to make the best recommendations with respect to the technology and style of hearing device. You will have the opportunity to learn about the various hearing aids and assistive listening devices that may benefit you and all your questions will be answered.

Recommendations for hearing aids and assistive listening devices (ALDs) are then made based on your price range. We will recommend and review several options. Once you purchase a hearing aid, we make an ear mold and order a custom-fit hearing aid for you.

Hearing aids take approximately two weeks to arrive, at which point you can schedule your first fitting appointment. It generally takes one to three appointments to fine-tune your hearing aid and make any required adjustments as you get used to hearing the world again. You will likely be amazed at what you've been missing!

Our Guarantee

You have a 30 day trial period to decide if you want to keep your hearing aid(s). If you are dissatisfied, you will be credited back your money. If you would like to consider another kind, this will be ordered for you. You may obtain a warranty for loss and damage.

Hearing Aid Technologies

There are two types of digital hearing aids available, adjustable and programmable.

Digital Adjustable Hearing Aids

Digital adjustable hearing aids provide digital sound quality but the audiologist has limited flexibility in the adjustments that can be made to fit specific hearing needs. The hearing aids are manufactured to a frequency (pitch) based on your hearing tests. The wearer generally is able to control the volume.

Digital Programmable Hearing Aids

Digital programmable hearing aids can analyze the listening environment and adjust to the sound. They allow more flexibility in programming and may be fully automatic or allow the wearer to control volume and the listening program.

One of the advantages of these hearing aids is the capability to reduce or eliminate feedback or "whistling." Most digital programmable hearing aids contain sensors that allow the hearing aid to detect sounds exceeding a certain loudness level, and then self-adjust to reduce the gain for those sounds. Unfortunately, because noise is comprised of many of the

same frequencies as speech, it is virtually impossible to "shut out" noise without also adversely affecting the quality of the speech signal. New techniques using multi-band compression and multiple microphones within the same hearing aid are improving the listener's ability to function in noisy environments.

CROS & BiCROS Aids

CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signal) and BiCROS hearing aids are an option for patients with single sided deafness, or patients who have useable hearing in only one ear. With a CROS hearing aid, sound from the poor ear is transmitted to the better hearing ear, allowing the patient to hear sounds presented to the poor side. With a BiCROS system, two devices are worn when the better ear also needs some amplification. In the poor ear, a transmitter send sound from the poor side to the better side where it is amplified.

The Benefits of Two Hearing Aids

Our nervous system is built to hear equally from 2 sides. If there is a hearing loss in both ears, it is important to wear two hearing aids. This will maximize your ability to hear as the brain will amplify sound if it receives a balanced signal from the two ears. Speech understanding and the ability to hear well in background noise is improved with wearing two hearing aids. It is also easier to identify the direction sound is coming from when two hearing aids are worn.


Styles of Hearing Aids
Hering Aid styles at Ear Associates, San Jose, CA

The good news is that with recent advances in digital technology, hearing loss can be treated with advanced digital hearing aids. Also, engineers and designers are partnering closely to develop hearing aids that not only improve hearing ability but are also visually appealing. Depending on the situation, a patient can choose from one of the five types of hearing aids listed below.

Behind the Ear or (BTE)
BTE hearing aids fit comfortably behind the ear and are attached to a custom earmold through a tube. They are suitable for all age groups. Because of their larger size, BTEs are very useful for patients with dexterity issues. These hearing aids can be quite effective and are also compatible with FM systems. BTEs are recommended for patients with mild to profound hearing loss.

Receiver In The Ear (RITE)
These hearing aids are similar to BTEs but the most important difference is that the receiver is placed in the ear canal. The sound quality is much smoother and free from distortion. Also the RITE casing is smaller than the regular BTE with regular tubing. Patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss can possibly consider RITE hearing aids.

Open fit hearing aids
These are small behind the ear hearing aids which use thin tubing with domes which are placed in the ear canal. The domes occupy only a portion of the ear canal and therefore allow for a more natural sound without feeling occluded. Open fit hearing aids are best suited for patients with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. In addition, these hearing aids are cosmetically appealing because of their smaller size.

In the Ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids are more customized to suit individual patients and involve making an ear mold that completely fits the outer ear. Patients with moderately severe hearing loss can consider ITE hearing aids.


Completely in the Canal (CIC)
CIC's are the least noticeable hearing aids due to their small size. They fit entirely in the ear canal and are highly recommended for patients concerned with the visual appeal of wearing a hearing aid. CICs allow easy use of phones. Due to the limited size of the instrument it is often limited in features and options. CICs are recommended for patients with moderately severe hearing loss.

EARS Inc. offers a wide selection of hearing aids from some of the most respected manufacturers such as Widex, Phonak, Starkey, and Oticon. Our hearing aid dispensing staff is highly experienced and qualified in meeting your hearing needs.

Starkey IIC

Discover the Magic of SOUNDLens…The 100% Invisible Hearing Aid

The magical “disappearing act” of SOUNDLens, Starkey’s newly-launched, 100% invisible in-the-canal hearing aid (IIC), is sure to receive a standing ovation by those who demand discretion in treatment of hearing loss. Gone are the days when self-consciousness prevented hearing solutions from being implemented.

Fitting comfortably inside the second bend of the ear canal, SOUNDLens is a completely invisible, removable, digital product. Packed within its small size are many industry-leading technologies including:

  • PureWave Feedback Eliminator to eliminate buzzing and whistling
  • Voice iQ to maintain speech understanding in noise and reduce listening effort
  • T2 Remote to allow memory and volume settings using any touch-tone telephone
  • Spectral iQ designed to enhance and expand audibility by replicating hard to hear high frequency sounds into low frequencies.

And SOUNDLens is custom designed for your ear, making it not only invisible to others but invisible to you as well!

Call us to find out more about SOUNDLens or to schedule an appointment to evaluate if you are a candidate for SOUNDLens.

The Lyric Device
EARS Inc. has the longest experience with providing the Lyric device in the South Bay. It is a disposable, continuous wear device that is implanted in the ear canal by our professional staff without surgery or anesthesia. It is 100% invisible, very comfortable and care-free. It is the only hearing aid which can be worn continuously and is only removed to change the device when the battery fails, approximately every 3 months. Lyric hearing aid is recommended for patients with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss. Not only does a lyric hearing aid perform well from a technical perspective but it is also meets the demands of patient’s who are extremely conscious about cosmetics.

The Lyric Device hearing aid at Ear Associates

Digital hearing aids with Bluetooth technology

A large number of hearing aid users have trouble on their cell phones, home phone, understanding TV and in noisy places. Today’s digital hearing aids with Bluetooth technology can help hearing aid users stay connected with an improved signal to noise ratio.


Pediatric Hearing Aid Services

The treatment of pediatric hearing loss requires special consideration. The dual evaluation and cooperation between medical physicians and audiologists is imperative in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss in babies and children. The professionals at EARS Inc. have extensive experience in the evaluation and management of hearing loss in children of all ages.

As babies and children grow, their anatomy and other conditions change. Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids are more durable and always recommended in babies and children due to the growing ear canal, safety and comfort.

Assistive Listening Devices

An assistive listening device (ALD) is a device that can he lp you to communicate better in your day-to day activities. Some of the ALDs are FM systems (Frequency Modulation Systems), telephone amplified devices, amplified answering machines, computers, wake –up alarms, pocket talker and TV ears. Schedule an appointment for a consultation if you are interested.

Other Hearing Aid services

  • Hearing Aid Cleaning and Repair
  • Warranty Renewal
  • Ear Molds
  • Testimonials

SOURCES:
Bella Online The Voice of Women
Download PDF on "The Demographics of Hearing Loss"

Our Top Selling Hearing Aids & Hearing Aid Technology

Clear wireless technology by Widex

Rise 2 Platform by Oticon

Spice Platform by Phonak

Naida S CRT


 

Wi Series, X Series, S Series iQ and SOUNDLens by Starkey

When Traditional Hearing Aids Are Not an Option:

Programmable and Power Bone Conduction Hearing Aid by Cochlear Americas

Traditional hearing aids do not work for everyone with treatable hearing loss. For those with chronic ear infections, severe ear canal problems, single-sided sensorineural deafness or conductive/mixed hearing loss, bone conduction hearing aids can be a good alternative.

Baha 5

Bone conduction hearing aids work very differently than traditional hearing aids. Traditional hearing aids, which are removable and worn behind the ear or within the ear canal, are designed to mimic normal hearing by amplifying sound waves in the air before they are transmitted to the cochlea in the inner ear. This is called air conduction. Alternatively, surgically-implanted bone conduction hearing aids collect sounds and transmit those sounds to an oscillator. The oscillator vibrates against the skull, allowing the inner ear to pick up those vibrations and interpret them as sound.

Baha BP-100 is the first programmable bone conduction (BC) hearing aid. It provides improvements over previous systems by offering advanced automatic digital signal processing to allow the user to enjoy automatic adjustment to environmental sounds without degradation in hearing performance. It has 12 channels, an automatic multi-band directional microphone, advanced noise reduction and feedback manager. It has a 3 button interface to select different listening programs and adjust the volume.

Other features include:

  • Three distinct fitting options to ensure flexibility and fitting precision
  • Sophisticated yet easy to use design
  • Tamper-resistant battery doors to safe-guard children
  • Titanium and plastic casing for maximum durability
  • Advance noise reduction and feedback management to reduce background noises and interference (Research has shown that the BP-100 has improved speech understanding in noise by 25% over older bone anchored hearing aids)
  • Water resistant microphone covers so wearers can enjoy active lives
  • Wide range of colors to match any skin tone
  • Ipod and Bluetooth compatibility
  • For more information about the Baha

Cochlear Americas recently introduced the new Baha 3 Power (BP110) sound processor with the most powerful Bone anchored hearing aid transducer. The BP110 processor provides more amplification in the high frequencies, where many patients require more amplification. The Baha 3 power external processor is the thinnest programmable power device with directional microphones. The new BP 110 processor is designed for better performance in noisy situations and improved speech understanding. It is designed for patients with single sided deafness and moderate hearing loss in their better ear.

For more information on BAHA or the BP110, please call and speak to one of our audiologists. This processor may make a difference if you feel your Divino or BP100 is underpowered.

Introducing the Alpha 1 abutment free Bone Anchored Hearing Aid

Traditional bone anchored devices (Baha) require a through-the-skin abutment with a titanium screw that protrudes from the side of the head. The Alpha 1 system, developed by Sophono, Inc., is the world’s first abutment-free, implantable bone anchored hearing device. The Alpha 1 system is available with two different options: The Alpha 1 S and Alpha 1 M hearing devices. The Alpha 1 M uses the Otomag Alpha 1 Bone Conduction Hearing System, which does not require an abutment, but instead uses a magnetic coupling system to connect the external sound processor to a titanium implant. There is no daily cleaning routine and as no hair follicles are removed, the hair will grow back over the incision. The device is implanted on an out-patient basis that takes just one hour. The Alpha 1 S technology is available for patients who do not wish to undergo surgery or for children less than 5 years of age. These patients would be fitted with an external processor held on to the head with a soft band. The Alpha 1 S and M processors are completely programmable digital systems with 8 channels and 16 frequency bands. If you have conductive or mixed hearing loss and have pain or infections with hearing aid use or have single sided deafness (complete deafness in one ear and normal in the other), please call us for more information. You may be a candidate for this exciting new device. For more information on this product can be obtained at www.sophono.com

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