Hearing Aid Accessories Information

Navigating the World of Hearing Aid Accessories for a Personalized Auditory Experience

November 28, 2023

Enhancing Your Hearing Experience: The Vital Role of Hearing Aid Accessories

Investing in hearing aids is a significant step toward reclaiming the richness of sound and improving the overall quality of life for individuals with hearing loss. However, the journey to optimal hearing doesn’t end with the purchase of hearing aids alone. This blog explores the often-overlooked but crucial aspect of hearing health – the importance of hearing aid accessories. These accessories not only complement your hearing aids but can also significantly enhance your satisfaction and enjoyment of the auditory world around you.

The Power of Hearing Aid Accessories to help you hear better:

While hearing aids are designed to amplify sound, accessories serve as invaluable additions that unlock new dimensions of functionality and convenience. Research consistently highlights the heightened satisfaction levels among individuals who embrace accessories for their hearing aids. These supplementary devices play a vital role in addressing specific challenges associated with hearing loss. Making them indispensable for a complete hearing solution.

How a TV Streamer can Transform TV-Watching Experience:

Meet Betty, a vibrant individual who, like many, values her relaxation time in front of the television. Betty, however, faces the common challenge of struggling to hear the soft nuances of speech in her favorite TV shows due to her hearing impairment. Determined to enhance her television-watching experience, Betty decides to invest in a TV streamer for her hearing aids.

With her new TV streamer in hand, Betty effortlessly connects it to her television. Creating a direct signal into her hearing aids. The transformation is immediate and remarkable. As she settles in to watch her favorite show, the once-missed details and subtle dialogues become crystal clear. The TV streamer serves as a bridge between the television and Betty’s hearing aids. Ensuring that she doesn’t miss a single word or sound.

Betty’s experience is not just about hearing better; it’s about reconnecting with the joy of entertainment. The TV streamer allows her to immerse herself fully in the storyline, catch every punchline, and savor the rich soundscapes that make her favorite shows truly enjoyable. No longer straining to understand the dialogue, Betty can relax and relish the experience. Confident that her TV streamer has opened up a world of auditory delight.

Whether it’s a suspenseful drama, a heartwarming sitcom, or a captivating documentary, Betty can now enjoy television on her terms. The TV streamer has become an indispensable companion, seamlessly integrating with her hearing aids to provide a direct, personalized audio experience. For Betty, the investment in this simple yet powerful accessory has made a world of difference. Proving that sometimes, it’s the little things that can bring the greatest joy and satisfaction.

A multitude of Hearing Aid Accessories just for you:

Betty’s success story with her TV streamer highlights the impactful role accessories play in personalized hearing solutions. Just as Betty discovered the enhanced clarity and joy of her TV experience, a variety of accessories cater to diverse needs. Beyond TV streamers, individuals with hearing aids can explore an array of options.  Each accessory serves a unique purpose. Empowering users to tailor their hearing aids to specific situations and enjoy a more enriched auditory lifestyle. Betty’s journey into the realm of accessories showcases the transformative potential these additions have in creating a seamless and satisfying hearing experience across various facets of daily life.  Here are a list of some hearing aid accessories that we recommend.

Notable Accessories:

1. TV Streamers and Remote Microphones:

TV streamers allow seamless connectivity between your hearing aids and your television, ensuring a clear and personalized audio experience.

Remote microphones enhance communication by capturing and transmitting speech directly to your hearing aids. Reducing background noise in challenging listening environments.

2. Amplified Phones and Direct Connectivity:

Amplified phones amplify incoming sounds, making phone conversations more accessible for individuals with hearing loss.

Phones with direct connectivity to certain hearing aid brands facilitate seamless integration. Allowing users to answer calls directly through their hearing aids.

3. Remote Controls and Clips:

Remote controls provide users with the ability to adjust settings and volume levels discreetly. Offering greater control over their hearing experience.

Clips secure hearing aids in place, preventing loss and providing peace of mind during various activities.

4. T-Coil Listening Devices for Loops:

T-coil technology allows users to connect with loop systems in public spaces. Such as theaters or lecture halls. Enhancing the listening experience in environments with installed hearing loop systems.

5. Backup Chargers:

A backup charger ensures that your hearing aids are always ready for use, whether you’re at home, traveling, or residing in a secondary location like a snowbird home.

Enhance Your Hearing

In the pursuit of optimal hearing, hearing aids and their accessories work hand in hand. While the initial investment in hearing aids is essential, incorporating accessories into your daily routine can significantly elevate your overall satisfaction and functionality. Whether it’s enjoying your favorite TV show, engaging in conversations on the phone, or attending public events, the right accessories can make a world of difference in your hearing experience. So, consider these enhancements as more than just add-ons. They are the key to unlocking the full potential of your hearing aids and, ultimately, your happiness.

Remember the movie with Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire when he told Renee Zellwegers’s character that she completes him?  We feel the same about some accessories completing your hearing wellness.  And if you haven’t seen this movie, it is a cute one.

Hearing Loss

Elevating Expectations: Unveiling the Impact on Hearing Success and Well-being

November 26, 2023

Fostering Potential: Exploring Brain Dynamics and the Transformative Influence of Expectations

Welcome to a journey into the intricate workings of the human brain and the fascinating interplay between language acquisition, cognitive expectations, and the challenges faced by individuals who have sensory deprivation, focusing on hearing loss.

A Fascination with the Power of the Brain

I have harbored a longstanding fascination with the intricate workings of the human brain. Recognizing the brain’s pivotal role in orchestrating our actions and functions, I embarked on a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota. With a particular curiosity about the challenges faced by many individuals who are deaf in learning to read.

The concept of expectations serves as a powerful bridge to understanding how contributions contribute to enhanced brain stimulation. When individuals, particularly those with sensory challenges such as deafness, are held to high expectations, it instigates a cognitive demand that acts as a stimulant for the brain. In the context of deaf individuals proficient in American Sign Language (ASL), the expectation of linguistic proficiency creates a mental environment where the brain is consistently engaged in visual-spatial processing, phonological awareness, and cognitive flexibility. This heightened cognitive demand, spurred by the expectation to excel in a visual-gestural language, not only fosters linguistic competence but also stimulates various cognitive regions of the brain. The brain adapts to meet these expectations. Resulting in increased synaptic connections, neural plasticity, and ultimately a more enriched cognitive landscape. Therefore, expectations can be seen as a catalyst for optimizing brain stimulation. Particularly in the context of language acquisition and cognitive challenges.

Expectations in Education for Students with Severe Hearing Loss

Before delving into my academic pursuits, I questioned the notion of the “right” way to educate individuals with hearing impairments with high expectations. Central to this inquiry was the consideration of how one learns the spoken English language when deprived of the auditory nuances crucial for comprehending syntax, prosody, and semantics. While acknowledging the existence of redundant cues aiding communication for those who are deaf, my experience in Florida, working with students with hearing loss in the Hillsborough Public Schools, revealed the complexities faced by individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.

American Sign Language is a Developed Language

Research consistently highlights a positive association between proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) and strong reading abilities in the deaf community. Deaf individuals who acquire ASL from an early age demonstrate enhanced visual-spatial processing skills. The visual phonological system of ASL contributes to improved orthographic processing. The transfer of linguistic knowledge from ASL to written English, coupled with bilingualism and cognitive flexibility, enhances reading proficiency. The cultural and social context surrounding ASL use fosters a sense of community and identity, promoting engagement in reading activities. Early exposure to ASL and intervention services significantly contribute to laying a strong foundation for literacy development in deaf individuals. In summary, ASL proficiency is a critical factor in supporting the overall literacy skills of deaf individuals. Influencing visual processing, linguistic knowledge transfer, and cultural engagement to enhance reading abilities in written English.

Question: Is Language related to Reading Proficiency:

Upon relocating to Minnesota for my academic journey, my focus shifted toward the exploration of reading theories. Particularly in the context of vision and hearing. Notably, fMRI studies demonstrated that individuals using sign language exhibit brain activation in the hearing cortex. Analogous to the activation observed in the occipital vision lobe of individuals with vision loss who have learned navigation skills.

The intricate relationship between language development and brain activity becomes particularly evident when examining individuals with varying levels of linguistic proficiency. Research consistently demonstrates that those with comprehensive language development exhibit more extensive and nuanced brain activity compared to their counterparts with limited language skills. Advanced language abilities seem to correlate with increased activation in key areas of the brain associated with language processing. Such as Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas. The intricate dance of neural connections in individuals with a well-established language foundation suggests that a richer linguistic repertoire stimulates heightened cognitive engagement. Conversely, those with limited language development may display less pronounced brain activity in these language-related regions. Underscoring the profound impact of language on the neural landscape. This connection between language and brain imaging not only reinforces the critical importance of fostering language skills but also offers a neuroscientific perspective on the cognitive benefits associated with a robust linguistic foundation.

More recently, my attention has turned to the impact of expectations on individual achievements.

A poignant illustration of the expectation phenomenon emerged in a podcast featuring a man born blind. The mans mother’s high expectations and gradual relinquishing of assistance empowered him to navigate the world independently using click-tones.

Drawing parallels between this narrative and the realm of hearing, I am eager to delve into the concept of expectations for those with hearing loss. Analogous to the blind man’s experience, individuals with higher expectations tend to surpass their potential. Even with similar cognitive abilities and disabilities. This blog aims to explore the implications of expectations within the hearing context.

Examining expectations from a product perspective, I posit that individuals with hearing loss should be afforded higher expectations. Mirroring the positive outcomes associated with elevated expectations in other domains. Despite the potential societal inclination to lower expectations for those with more profound hearing loss, I have encountered individuals who have embraced their hearing loss. Adopting strategies, utilizing advanced equipment, and asserting their ADA rights to create inclusive environments.

Behaviors exhibited by high-expectation individuals include maintaining positivity, learning adaptive strategies, and employing cutting-edge technology. Technology such as remote microphones and Bluetooth, to enhance their hearing experience. My aspiration is to instill high expectations within the hearing healthcare system. Emphasizing the value of Hearing Health Care Provider’s time and expertise in improving the lives of individuals with hearing loss.

Higher Hearing Loss Expectations offer Higher Brain Functions

The intricacies of the brain serve as the foundation of this discussion. Emphasizing the necessity of fostering high expectations to unlock one’s full potential. I invite further exploration and discussion on the topic of expectations. Confident that the insights gained can contribute to enhancing the quality of life for individuals with hearing impairments. While there may be associated costs for my time, it is my fervent expectation that the value provided transcends the conventional sale of hearing aids. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Just what makes that little ole ant think he can move a rubber tree plant! 

He’s Got High Hopes!

Affordable hearing aids Gently used hearing aids

Affordable Hearing Aid Options: Explore Consignment Hearing Aids for Budget-Friendly Options

November 19, 2023

Better Hearing on a Budget: Your Guide to Affordable Consignment Hearing Aids

Hears Hearing & Hearables has been facilitating the sale of used hearing aids, offering individuals an opportunity to part with their devices for various reasons and sell them as affordable hearing aid options. Common motivations include the passing of a loved one, rendering the aids unused, or personal upgrades to newer models, prompting the sale of surplus devices. Our experienced professionals engage with sellers to understand the unique circumstances behind their decision to sell.

To Our Potential Sellers:

When reaching out to us to sell your used hearing aid, anticipate inquiries about the reasons for selling. This not only adds an intriguing aspect to our interactions but is also integral to determining the device’s suitability for resale. Ensuring ethical and genuine transactions. We prioritize the resale of hearing aids that are in good working condition. Aiming to provide affordable choices for potential buyers.

To Our Potential Buyers:

In response to the availability of over-the-counter hearing aids in the market, we have expanded affordable options by introducing consignment hearing aids. Notably, these devices are prescription-based, allowing users to have them programmed by their healthcare providers. It’s important to clarify that our consignment hearing aids have undergone meticulous verification to ensure they are not stolen. Their prices reflect the features and technology they offer.

The consignment hearing aids range from more expensive models, which come with warranties and feature advanced technology for improved performance in various listening environments. To more affordable options that may be older and lack warranties but are still programmable. Any limitations, such as the need for programming at specific stores, are transparently communicated in the consignment product information.

Affordable Hearing Aid Options: Advantages of Consignment Prescription Hearing Aids Compared to Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

We believe that consignment hearing aids offer advantages over over-the-counter options, especially when users seek professional programming. As the hearing care industry evolves with unbundled service fees and the rise of teleaudiology and telehealth. Accessing programming for these aids will become more convenient. We encourage those seeking cost-effective hearing solutions to consider consignment hearing aids. Recognizing that they may not have the latest features but can serve as an introduction to the benefits of hearing devices.

Find a Hearing Health Care Provider that will offer services near you

Reach out to local clinics in your area to ensure the programming of your consignment hearing aids. Ask them if they offer programming services and inquire if you might need an updated hearing test or counseling in addition to the programming. Be aware that a service fee will apply. If a clinic initially declines, politely ask for the reasons and express your willingness to pay a reasonable fee.

Prices for these services can vary depending on your location within the United States, as is common in many industries. It is considered ethical for clinics to assist you in programming your hearing aids. If you’re having difficulty finding a local clinic willing to help, we can potentially assist you in locating a licensed remote clinic. This clinic can remotely program your hearing aids, offering a teleaudiology experience from a distance.

Realistic Expectations, Warranty and more to Explore

At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we aim to bridge the affordability gap by providing consignment hearing aids with warranties ranging from six months to one year, depending on the product, at an additional cost. Details regarding warranty options will be elaborated in subsequent posts.  When we have these details you will have a link here.

On the clinical side, Hears to U Audiology, a part of Hears Hearing & Hearables, specializes in fitting used hearing aids for clients seeking budget-friendly alternatives. Understandably, not everyone wishes to invest heavily in hearing aids. We assure our clients that while consignment hearing aids may lack the latest features, they can be an effective solution for less complex listening environments.

We advocate for realistic expectations when opting for consignment hearing aids. Acknowledging that they may not possess all the advanced features found in newer, more expensive models. However, we believe that these devices can serve as a valuable entry point for individuals to appreciate the benefits of hearing technology. Potentially paving the way for consideration of more advanced solutions in the future.

If cost is a concern for you, consider this excellent solution. Give it a try today, and you’ll not only bring happiness to yourself but also to the person selling the device, ultimately making us happy too. It’s a win-win-win situation. Feel free to reach out with any questions by calling us or filling out a contact form for the product you are contemplating. We’re here to provide additional information as needed.


hearing aid charger with Hearing aids for hearing loss

Navigating the Challenge of Finding the Right Hearing Aid Charger: Our Expert Assistance Makes It Easy

November 18, 2023

Navigating the Maze of Hearing Aid Chargers: A Somewhat Comprehensive Guide

At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we have recognized an unforeseen demand for the acquisition of a hearing aid charger. Particularly for those who are frequently on the move or require replacements for damaged chargers.

As an online membership-based store, our primary objective is to establish a transparent and ethically driven platform for hearing healthcare. We aim to connect our customers with a network of hearing healthcare providers who charge for services separately from the cost of the hearing aid itself. While our initial emphasis may not have been on chargers, we are grateful to those who have entrusted us with their charging needs. Leading us to identify and address this specific niche in the market.

In this blog post, we endeavor to provide a comprehensive review of how hearing aid chargers function. Our focus will be on guiding customers in selecting the correct charger for their specific hearing aid models. We appreciate the continued trust and support from our clientele and look forward to serving their hearing healthcare needs with diligence and expertise.

The Power Behind Hearing Aids: The Lithium-Ion Charger

In the realm of hearing aid technology, the power source is a critical component that directly influences performance and convenience.  At present, most modern hearing aids are equipped with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Offering users a more sustainable and cost-effective solution compared to traditional disposable batteries. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of lithium-ion chargers for hearing aids. Exploring their features, advantages, and tips for optimal use.

Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Game-Changer for Hearing Aids

Lithium-ion batteries have become the gold standard for many electronic devices, and hearing aids are no exception. These batteries are known for their high energy density, lightweight design, and longer lifespan compared to traditional batteries. The decision to incorporate lithium-ion technology into hearing aids has transformed the user experience. Providing a reliable and rechargeable power source.

The Lithium-Ion Charger: Features and Functions
  • Compact and Portable:

Lithium-ion chargers for hearing aids are designed to be compact and portable. Ensuring users can easily carry them wherever they go. This portability is especially beneficial for those who lead active lifestyles and need a reliable charging solution on the move.

  • Efficient Charging:

Lithium-ion chargers are designed for efficiency, providing a quick and reliable charging process. Users can expect shorter charging times compared to older battery technologies. Allowing them to spend less time waiting and more time enjoying the benefits of their hearing aids.

  • Smart Charging Technology:

Many lithium-ion chargers feature smart charging technology, which helps optimize the charging process. This technology often includes features such as overcharge protection. Ensuring that the battery is not subjected to excessive voltage, which can impact its lifespan.

  • Compatibility with Different Devices:

Lithium-ion chargers are typically designed to be versatile, compatible with various hearing aid models from the same manufacturer. This streamlines the user experience, as individuals can use a single charger for multiple devices.  Obviously this is not the case as new technology and features and shape of   the hearing aids change.   That leads us to the next section of this article on finding the right charger.

The Maze of Hearing Aid Chargers: We can help

Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years, with advancements in technology enhancing the quality of life for millions of people around the world. However, with these technological strides comes a challenge that many hearing aid users face—The multitude of chargers available on the market. In this blog post, we’ll explore the complexity of hearing aid chargers, the variety among different brands and generations, and offer some tips on navigating this tangled web.

The Charger Conundrum:

One might assume that a charger is a simple accessory. But in the world of hearing aids, it’s anything but straightforward. Every hearing aid manufacturer seems to have its own proprietary charger, adding a layer of complexity for users. What’s more, even within the same brand, different generations of hearing aid technology may require entirely different chargers.

Why the Variety?

The hearing aid industry is continually evolving, with companies striving to improve battery life, charging speed, and overall user experience. This drive for innovation, while beneficial in many ways, has led to a proliferation of unique chargers for each model and generation. Manufacturers design chargers to be optimized for specific devices, taking into consideration factors like battery type, voltage, and charging mechanism.

The Generation Gap:

It’s not uncommon for individuals to upgrade their hearing aids every few years to access the latest features and improvements in technology. However, what many users may not anticipate is that their new and improved hearing aids may come with a completely different charger than their previous models. This creates confusion and frustration, as users find themselves needing to adapt to a new charging routine.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words:

One practical solution to the charger chaos is to provide users with a visual reference. Including images of chargers in user manuals and online resources can significantly aid in the identification and replacement process. This is especially crucial for users with older hearing aids, as chargers from more than five years ago might be challenging to find in stores or online.

When navigating the intricate world of hearing aid chargers, consider these helpful tips to ensure a seamless experience. Firstly, consult the user manual accompanying your hearing aids, as it serves as a valuable resource with information about the specific charger required, often accompanied by visual references. Explore online guides and resources offered by manufacturers on their official websites for comprehensive details regarding chargers and compatibility.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help!

In cases of uncertainty, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from either the manufacturer’s customer support or our own. We understand that deciphering the right charger can be a confusing endeavor. So, we all should exercise patience in assisting one another. We genuinely appreciate your patience and kindness as we work together to ensure you find the appropriate charger for your particular hearing aid model.

Additionally, local hearing aid retailers and professionals can prove to be valuable allies in this journey. Drawing upon their expertise and experience with various chargers, they can offer insights to help you identify the charger that aligns perfectly with your specific needs. By incorporating these tips into your search, you can navigate the charger maze with confidence and make informed decisions tailored to your hearing aid requirements.

While the world of hearing aid chargers may seem like a confusing labyrinth. With a bit of patience and the right resources, users can successfully navigate the maze. As technology continues to advance, manufacturers may find ways to standardize charging solutions. But until then, understanding the charger landscape is essential for every hearing aid user. Remember, a picture of your charger is not just worth a thousand words; it could save you from a thousand headaches and some shipping charges.

Finally Tips for Optimal Use of Lithium-Ion Chargers·

  • Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Always adhere to the charging guidelines provided by the hearing aid manufacturer. This includes information on charging times, recommended usage patterns, and any specific precautions.

  • Store in a Cool Dry Place

To maintain battery health, store the charger and hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, as this can impact battery performance.

  •  Regularly Check for Updates

Some manufacturers release firmware or software updates for their hearing aids and chargers. Regularly check for updates to ensure you are benefiting from the latest features and improvements.

  • Consider a Spare Charger!

For users who travel frequently or spend extended periods away from power sources, having a spare charger can be a practical solution. This ensures that your hearing aids are always ready for use.  Hence why we started this article.  Hears Hearing & Hearables is meeting a need in the hearing health care market in helping people with hearing aids find their charger.  We aren’t just in the hearing aid business; we tell our representatives we are in the business to meet our customer where they need help!  Thanks for reading! Cheers.

Hearing Loss Remote Control

Remote Controls Enhance Patient Satisfaction by Allowing Self-Adjustment of Hearing Aids

November 18, 2023

Empowering Hearing Aid Users: The Impact of Self-Remote-Control Features for Patient Satisfaction

Hearing aid remote controls are valuable devices designed to enhance the user experience for individuals with hearing impairments. These compact and user-friendly accessories offer a range of features that contribute to the overall convenience and effectiveness of hearing aid use.

Easy to Use Remote Controls

One of the primary benefits of hearing aid remote controls is the ease with which users can adjust settings on their hearing devices. Many hearing aids come with a variety of settings to accommodate different environments and listening conditions. The remote control allows users to discreetly and quickly make adjustments to volume, program settings, and other parameters. Without the need to fiddle with small buttons or switches on the hearing aids themselves. This is especially advantageous in situations where immediate adjustments are necessary. Such as in noisy environments or sudden changes in acoustic surroundings.

An Example of the Use of a Remote Control by a Hearing Aid User

In a bustling conference hall, one of our patients, a seasoned event planning professional, recently recounted a noteworthy experience with her hearing aid remote control. Faced with a challenging auditory environment marked by overlapping conversations, Jane said she sneakily pulled out her remote to optimize her hearing aid settings.  She said the use of the remote and the change of the program was beneficial.  She said it was more discreet than pulling out her smartphone and opening up an app.  In sharing this account, Jane underscored the pivotal role that the hearing aid remote played in enhancing her situational awareness. Illustrating the practical benefits of such technology in demanding professional settings.

Hearing Aid Remote Control can often offer Streaming

In addition to basic controls, some advanced hearing aid remote controls offer additional functionalities. Such as the ability to stream audio directly from compatible devices. This feature allows users to wirelessly connect to smartphones, TVs, and other audio sources. Providing a seamless and customized listening experience. Streaming capabilities can significantly enhance the enjoyment of various forms of entertainment, as well as improve communication in phone conversations or during video calls.

An Example of the Use of Streaming to Hearing aids using a Remote Control

During a routine check-up one of our clients, an avid podcast enthusiast, enthusiastically shared her newfound joy with us.  She was so excited about how the streaming capabilities of her hearing aid remote had transformed her daily routine. The client vividly described the pleasure of wirelessly connecting her hearing aids to her favorite podcasts. Immersing herself in a world of story telling directly into her hearing aids that are adjusted for her hearing loss.  The streaming remote, she emphasized, not only provided a seamless and high-quality listening experience but also made her daily activities more enjoyable. As our patient spoke animatedly about the newfound convenience, I noted again the positive impact of modern hearing aid technology on her and others quality of life and overall satisfaction with the devices.

Patient Satisfaction Improved

Furthermore, hearing aid remote controls contribute to improved patient satisfaction by empowering users to have greater control over their listening experience. This level of control can enhance overall communication and engagement, leading to better outcomes in various aspects of daily life.

Research in audiology and hearing healthcare has consistently demonstrated the positive correlation between patient satisfaction and the ability to control their own hearing aid settings. Numerous studies have explored the impact of user-controlled features. Features such as volume adjustments, program changes, and additional functionalities provided by remote controls and smartphone apps.

In summary, hearing aid remote controls are indispensable tools for those who have hearing aids and want a discreet way to adjust for various environments. Their convenience, versatility, and advanced features contribute to a more accessible and personalized hearing experience. Ultimately improving the quality of life for individuals with hearing impairments.

If you have a question about which remote control is best for your hearing aids, fill out a contact and we will help.

Finding the right dome for your hearing aid

Mastering Hearing Aid Comfort: The Secrets of Occlusion and Domes

November 12, 2023

The Ear Plug Paradox: Unraveling the Mystery of Occlusion and Volume Perception

Have you ever noticed that when you plug your ears, the world around you suddenly feels different? Not only does the ambient noise become muffled, but there’s also a peculiar sensation of occlusion – as if you’ve entered a soundproof bubble. Strangely enough, this occlusion doesn’t just affect your ability to hear. It also has a curious impact on your perception of how loudly you’re speaking. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of ear physiology and psychology to uncover the reasons behind this peculiar phenomenon.

Hearing Aid Voice Echo: Perhaps You Have an Occluded Ear Canal

The term “occluded ear canal” refers to a condition where the ear canal is partially or completely blocked or obstructed. Hindering the normal flow of air and sound waves into the ear. This obstruction can occur due to various factors, including the use of earplugs, earwax buildup, foreign objects in the ear, or the insertion of hearing aids or earphones.

Occluding the ear canal can lead to several perceptual changes in how sounds are heard and processed. One notable effect is the occlusion effect, where low-frequency sounds are trapped within the sealed ear canal. Resulting in a feeling of fullness or hollowness. Using hearing aids or earplugs that block the ear canal often causes people to experience this phenomenon.

In a medical context, an occluded ear canal may be a result of conditions such as earwax impaction, ear infections, or the presence of a foreign body. It’s important to address any occlusion of the ear canal promptly, as it can impact hearing, cause discomfort, and potentially lead to more serious issues if left untreated. If you suspect an occlusion of your ear canal or experience changes in your hearing, it is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or an audiologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate intervention.

The Anatomy of Occlusion

To understand why plugging your ears leads to a sense of occlusion, it’s essential to grasp the basics of ear anatomy. Three main parts divide the ear, forming a complex organ. The outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. When you plug your ears, you disrupt the normal transmission of sound waves into the ear canal. Altering the way you perceive external sounds.

The outer ear captures sound waves and directs them into the ear canal, where they reach the eardrum in the middle ear. This vibration is then transmitted to the tiny bones in the middle ear, which, in turn, transmit the signals to the cochlea in the inner ear. Inserting earplugs interrupts this process, causing a reduction in the intensity and clarity of external sounds.

Occlusion and the Voice:

Now, let’s explore the connection between occlusion and the way we perceive our own voices. When you speak, sound waves travel not only through the air but also internally through the bones and tissues of your head. This dual pathway allows you to perceive your voice in two ways: through air-conducted sound and bone-conducted sound.

When you plug your ears, the external sound is significantly reduced, affecting the air-conducted component of your voice perception. Without the usual feedback from the external environment, your brain relies more on the bone-conducted component, which is not as affected by earplugs. This shift in reliance creates a dissonance between how you perceive your voice internally and how it actually sounds to others in the external environment.

The Volume Dilemma:

The mystery deepens when we consider why people often speak louder than they intend when their ears are plugged. The lack of external auditory feedback can attribute to this phenomenon. Which plays a crucial role in regulating speech volume. When you can’t hear your own voice as clearly, there’s a natural tendency to overcompensate by speaking louder.

Additionally, the occlusion effect may create a psychological illusion of being isolated from the surrounding environment. Leading to a false perception that others can’t hear you well. This misconception can prompt individuals to unintentionally raise their voice levels. Contributing to the paradoxical experience of feeling occluded yet speaking louder than necessary.

The Occlusion Effect in Hearing Aids: Understanding and Overcoming the Muffled Sensation

For those who use hearing aids, the occlusion effect is a common phenomenon that can impact their overall auditory experience. The occlusion effect occurs as we learned above, when the ear canal is partially or fully blocked by a hearing aid. Leading to a feeling of “hollowness” or “muffling” in the wearer’s own voice and other sounds. This blog aims to shed light on the occlusion effect and hearing aid voice echo its causes, as well as potential solutions to enhance the comfort and effectiveness of hearing aid use.

Understanding the Occlusion Effect

Blocking the ear canal causes the occlusion effect to arise, trapping low-frequency sounds and causing them to reverberate in the ear. This trapped sound creates a perception of increased loudness and resonance. Affecting both the wearer’s own voice and the sounds from the surrounding environment. People often describe the sensation as feeling underwater or in an enclosed space.

Causes of the Occlusion Effect:

Sealed Ear Canal:

In-canal or completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, which fit snugly into the ear canal, are more likely to cause the occlusion effect due to the sealing of the ear canal.

Low-Frequency Sounds:

Low-frequency sounds are more likely to be trapped and amplified in the sealed ear canal, leading to a more pronounced occlusion effect.

Ventilation Issues:

If the hearing aid lacks proper ventilation or has a too-small vent, it can contribute to the occlusion effect.

Minimizing the Occlusion Effect and Hearing Aid Voice Echo

Open Fit Hearing Aids:

Designed to leave the ear canal open, open-fit hearing aids reduce the occlusion effect. They allow natural sounds to enter the ear canal, providing a more comfortable listening experience.


Ensuring proper ventilation in the hearing aid design, such as using vented ear molds, helps alleviate the occlusion effect and hearing aid voice echo by allowing some sound to escape the ear canal.

Digital Signal Processing (DSP):

Advanced digital signal processing technology in modern hearing aids can minimize the occlusion effect by adjusting amplification levels for specific frequencies, reducing the perception of trapped sound.

Regular Maintenance:

Keeping hearing aids clean and well-maintained is essential. Earwax buildup can exacerbate the occlusion effect, so regular cleaning and check-ups with an audiologist are crucial.

Guidance from a Hearing Healthcare Professional:

Seeking guidance from an audiologist is invaluable for adjusting to hearing aids and overcoming challenges like the perception of one’s voice being too loud and the occlusion effect. Trained professionals who specialize in assessing and addressing hearing-related issues are audiologists. They can provide personalized adjustments to the settings of your hearing aids. Ensuring that the amplification aligns with your unique hearing needs.

Additionally, audiologists offer insights into managing the occlusion effect, a common concern when using hearing aids. Through their expertise, they can guide you on selecting the right type of ear tips or domes, adjusting ventilation, and providing strategies to minimize the feeling of being plugged. The support of an audiologist goes beyond technical adjustments. They play a crucial role in helping individuals adapt to their hearing aids, optimizing comfort, and enhancing the overall effectiveness of the devices in various listening environments.

The Over-the-Counter Stock Domes

Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing products, including personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) and some basic hearing aids, often come with standard domes or ear tips that may cause an occlusion effect and hearing aid voice echo. Overcoming this issue is essential for users to have a comfortable and effective listening experience. Here are some common strategies to address the occlusion effect caused by standard domes:

1. Ventilation and Open-Fit Designs:

  • Look for OTC hearing devices with open-fit designs. Open-fit devices typically have ear tips or domes that do not completely seal the ear canal, allowing some natural sound to enter.
  • Consider products with built-in vents or air channels in the earpieces. These features facilitate airflow and reduce the sensation of occlusion.

2. Customizable Ear Tips:

  • Explore OTC hearing devices that come with different sizes of ear tips or domes. Having a variety of sizes allows users to find the most comfortable fit that minimizes the occlusion effect.
  • Some products enhance comfort and reduce the sensation of being plugged by providing memory foam or silicone ear tips that conform to the shape of the ear canal.

3. User Adjustments:

  • Experiment with the positioning of the ear tips or domes. Sometimes a slight adjustment in how the device sits in the ear can alleviate the occlusion effect.
  • Check if the device allows for angle adjustments. Tilting the earpiece slightly can impact the perception of occlusion.

4. Regular Cleaning:

  • Ensure that the ear tips or domes are clean and free from earwax or debris. Earwax buildup can exacerbate the occlusion effect.
  • Clean the hearing device regularly following the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain optimal performance.

Trial Periods and Returns:

When purchasing OTC hearing products, inquire about the availability of trial periods or return policies. This allows users to test the device in real-life situations and return it if the occlusion effect is a persistent issue.

Consultation with a Professional:

If the occlusion effect persists, consider consulting with a hearing care professional or audiologist. They can provide personalized advice and may recommend adjustments or alternative solutions based on your specific needs.

It’s important to note that while OTC hearing products can be a convenient and accessible option, they may not suit everyone’s hearing needs. Individuals with more complex hearing requirements or persistent issues may benefit from a comprehensive hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist, who can recommend and fit hearing aids tailored to their unique hearing profile.  You don’t have to walk around feeling like you are plugged, can’t hear any better, and your voice echos.

We have choices at Hears Hearing & Hearables.  Tell us what you have experienced in the past and we can help make suggestions, offer different domes, or even refer you to a professional that can help near  you.

Signia Hearing aid in noise

Signia’s Latest Technology: A Comparison Between the IX and the AX

November 12, 2023

The Signia IX Hearing Aid: A Technological Leap Forward

The release of new technology by Signia hearing aid company generates significant excitement and holds paramount importance within the field of hearing health care. This anticipation stems from the potential for groundbreaking innovations that can substantially enhance the auditory experience for individuals with hearing impairments.

Technological advancements in Signia’s hearing aids often promise improved sound processing, speech clarity, and adaptability to diverse listening environments. For those relying on hearing aids, each new release represents an opportunity for heightened accessibility and a potential transformation in the way they engage with the world. Beyond the individual level, these innovations contribute to the continuous evolution of the hearing care industry. Pushing boundaries and setting new standards for effective hearing solutions.

In this blog we are going to share with you the newest features and benefits with the IX hearing aid.  First, here are some general features that you might find in current Signia hearing aids:

Bluetooth Connectivity:

Many Signia hearing aids come equipped with Bluetooth technology. Allowing users to connect their hearing aids to smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices. This enables wireless streaming of phone calls, music, and other audio directly to the hearing aids.

Rechargeable Batteries:

Some Signia hearing aids use rechargeable batteries, eliminating the need for disposable batteries. Users can charge their hearing aids overnight for a full day of use.

Directional Microphones:

These microphones help users focus on the sounds they want to hear while minimizing background noise. This feature can be particularly useful in noisy environments.

Tinnitus Therapy:

Signia offers some models with built-in tinnitus therapy features. This can include white noise or other soothing sounds to help manage tinnitus symptoms.

Own Voice Processing (OVP):

This technology is designed to enhance the natural sound of the user’s own voice. Making it sound more natural and less distorted.

Remote Control and Smartphone Apps:

Many Signia hearing aids can be controlled and adjusted remotely using a dedicated remote control or a smartphone app. This allows users to make adjustments to their hearing aids discreetly.

Speech Enhancement:

Some models may include features that enhance speech clarity, making it easier for users to understand conversations in various environments.

Automatic Environmental Adaptation:

Signia hearing aids may have sensors that automatically adjust settings based on the user’s environment. Providing optimal hearing in different situations.

Feedback Suppression:

This feature helps reduce or eliminate feedback and whistling sounds that can occur with hearing aids.

New Signia Technology: The IX

Traditional hearing aid processing designed to improve speech in noisy environments often struggles in group conversations. Using a directional microphone with a narrow focus can help when listening to someone directly in front. However, it may block out other talkers and restrict the wearer from turning their head. On the other hand, a broader focus captures all talkers but usually requires more aggressive noise reduction, which can distort sound and lead to a poor listening experience.

Signia, a leading developer in hearing aid solutions, has made significant strides in addressing speech-in-noise challenges. Their Augmented Xperience (AX) platform, launched in 2021, introduced Augmented Focus. Utilizing advanced directional technology to split incoming sounds into two streams: one for speech (focus stream) and one for background noise (surrounding stream). While this approach offers broad speech enhancement, it has limitations in understanding individual talkers’ dynamics in a conversation.

The game-changing development comes with the introduction of RealTime Conversation Enhancement (RTCE) in the new Signia Integrated Xperience hearing aids. Utilizing a multi-stream architecture, RTCE revolutionizes conversation processing, providing enhanced support for wearers in dynamic group settings.

Research demonstrating the benefits of the New Signia IX with RTCE in group conversations by Signia

Explanation of the RealTime Conversation Technology:

The RealTime Conversation Enhancement (RTCE) technology represents a significant advancement in hearing aid functionality. Building upon the foundation of Augmented Focus processing introduced in Signia AX. Augmented Focus utilizes split processing, a method that separates incoming sound into two distinct streams. Enabling the independent processing of speech and noise from the front and back hemispheres, respectively.

In the Signia IX model, under the sophisticated control of advanced sound analysis, RTCE introduces three additional focus streams to the existing split-processing focus stream in the front hemisphere. This augmentation results in unprecedented enhancements, particularly in scenarios involving group conversations amidst background noise.

The RTCE processing unfolds in three stages: Analyze, Augment, and Adapt.


The initial stage, Analyze, involves the meticulous examination of incoming sound by the Conversation Source Analyzer. This component determines the presence of speech in the front hemisphere. Utilizing a proximity detector to assess the relevance of the speech. This includes distinguishing between relevant speech from nearby conversation partners and irrelevant background noise or distant talkers. Simultaneously, the Conversation Dynamics Analyzer analyzes the entire conversation layout. Considering turn-taking dynamics, locations of conversation partners, and non-speech sound sources. Processing an impressive 192,000 data points per second.


The subsequent stage, Augment, creates three dynamic focus streams through advanced binaural beamforming. Integrating them into the Conversation Booster along with the split-processing front-hemisphere focus stream. These four focus streams cover the entire front hemisphere. Facilitating separate processing of speech from various directions, effectively suppressing noise from non-speech directions.

The information about the conversation layout acquired in the Analyze stage allows for tailored suppression of noise. Ensuring that the processing of speech in the focus streams aligns with the conversation dynamics. Simultaneously, the Surrounding Stream processes background noise independently, offering a different approach to handling surrounding noise. This method allows for more aggressive noise reduction in the surrounding stream without masking the target speech. Providing an immersive listening experience.


The final stage, Adapt, harmonizes the focus streams and surrounding stream. Creating a live auditory space where conversation partners stand out against background noise. This adaptive process ensures that the focus streams continuously adjust to changes in the conversation layout, maintaining optimal processing at all times.

The comprehensive outcome of the three RTCE stages is a listening experience that seamlessly adapts to both the conversation layout and the entire acoustic environment. This technological advancement enables wearers to actively participate in conversations while remaining attuned to their surroundings.

The Research Study

Twenty people took part in a study about hearing. They were between 55 and 82 years old, with an average age of 72. All of them had a certain type of hearing loss called sensorineural sloping hearing loss.

Each person was given special hearing aids called Signia Pure Charge&Go T IX. Half of them got one kind with closed couplings, and the other half got a different kind with vented couplings. The hearing aids had two programs: one with all the features turned on, and another with one specific feature turned off.

They did two tests to see how well the hearing aids worked. In the first test, people listened to sentences in a quiet room and repeated what they heard. In the second test, it was like being in a big room with lots of background noise, as if they were in a group conversation. They listened to sentences coming from different directions while background noise played from other directions.

The goal was to see how well people could hear in different situations. They did each test with both settings on the hearing aids: one with a specific feature called RTCE turned on, and the other with RTCE turned off.

Before the actual tests, everyone had a practice round to get used to the task. The order of the tests was mixed up for each person to make sure the results were fair. Also, the participants didn’t know which setting was being tested each time. This way, the study checked how well the hearing aids worked in different conditions for everyone involved.

The Results

In the standard OLSA test, the study analyzed the Speech Reception Threshold (SRT80) values for 20 participants using hearing aids with RTCE (RealTime Conversation Enhancement) turned on and off. Lower SRT80 values indicate better performance.

Even though some people had different types of hearing aids (closed couplings worked better than vented couplings), the special feature called RTCE helped everyone in both groups. They did a special test to check this, and the results showed that RTCE made a big difference in how well the hearing aids worked. It was like having a superpower for the hearing aids! The test results were so clear and important that the scientists are confident that RTCE really makes the hearing aids work much better.

Summary of Study

In this study, they tested a special technology called RealTime Conversation Enhancement (RTCE) in hearing aids. The results showed that when RTCE was turned on, people could understand speech better in both simple one-on-one conversations and more complex group conversations.

In the simple test, where one person talked to the wearer in a quiet room, using RTCE gave a significant improvement in speech understanding for 90% of the people. Hence, it was like having better ears for a regular conversation.

In the more complicated test, simulating a group conversation with people talking from different directions, RTCE also made a big difference. 95% of the participants performed better when RTCE was turned on. This means RTCE can help a lot in challenging group conversations where there’s a lot of background noise.

Overall, the study suggests that RTCE can make conversations easier for people using hearing aids. It’s like having a superpower in their ears, helping them understand and join in conversations more easily. The technology adapts to different situations, like when people move or the wearer turns their head. Making it a valuable tool for better hearing in various conversation setups.

Updating Your Technology

The Signia IX hearing aid stands out as a remarkable leap forward from its predecessor, the AX hearing aid, showcasing significant advancements in technology. A key highlight is the notable improvement in microphone functionality. Unlike its predecessor, the Signia IX boasts enhanced microphone features, providing distinct focus situations. This innovation enables more precise and targeted audio capture, catering to diverse listening environments. The Signia IX hearing aid sets a new standard in the realm of hearing technology, promising a heightened and tailored auditory experience for users.

Signia IX newest latest and greatest hearing aid technology introduces significant benefits for individuals with hearing loss. The enhanced microphone technology, with various focus situations and increased availability at higher technology levels, ensures a refined and tailored auditory experience. This innovation enables users to enjoy clearer and more precise sound in diverse listening environments. The advanced features of the Signia IX empower individuals with hearing loss by providing improved speech clarity and adaptability. Ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life. With this cutting-edge technology, users can expect a transformative and more immersive hearing experience. Therefore, allowing for better communication and engagement in various social and environmental settings.

Explore the cutting-edge Signia IX hearing aid, a technological marvel surpassing its predecessor. Dive into the future of hearing technology for nuanced and targeted sound capture in diverse environments.

Invisible hearing aid

Choosing the Ideal Hearing Aid: Lyric vs. Over-the-Counter Completely in the Canal vs. Completely in the Canal Options

November 9, 2023

Unveiling Invisibility: A Comparative Look at Lyric and Other Small, Invisible Hearing Aids

In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between Lyric hearing aids, completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, and over-the-counter completely in-the-ear hearing aids. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options. Helping you gain the insights you need to make an informed choice that best suits your unique needs.

The Lyric Device:

The Lyric hearing aid emerged as a product of InSound Medical, which has since become part of Phonak, a well-known hearing aid manufacturer. Introduced in the mid-2000s, Lyric marked a substantial innovation in hearing healthcare. Lyric revolutionized the hearing aid industry by situating itself deep within the ear canal. Providing a level of discretion and comfort that surpassed traditional models worn behind or inside the ear. Over the years, Lyric has undergone continuous enhancements, with newer versions delivering superior sound quality, extended battery life, and increased comfort for its wearers.

Audiologists primarily recommend Lyric hearing aids for individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss who are seeking a discreet and user-friendly hearing solution. In essence, the Lyric hearing aid functions as an inconspicuous and innovative means to improve hearing and has played a significant role in advancing hearing healthcare.

The Lyric hearing aid, a discreet and compact device designed to aid individuals with hearing loss, operates as follows:

First, a trained audiologist or hearing specialist places the Lyric hearing aid deep within your ear canal, in close proximity to the eardrum. This strategic positioning enables it to capture sounds effectively. The Lyric hearing aid features a miniature microphone that captures sounds from the surroundings. Once captured, it processes these sounds, enhancing their clarity and adapting them to your specific hearing requirements. The processed sounds are then delivered directly to your eardrum. Therefore, bypassing the outer ear, and resulting in a more natural listening experience.

The Lyric hearing aid employs digital processing technology. Digital hearing aids use microprocessors to convert incoming sound waves into digital signals. These can then be manipulated to enhance sound quality and cater to an individual’s specific hearing needs. This digital processing technology allows for more precise adjustments and customization compared to analog hearing aids.

With digital processing, the Lyric hearing aid can filter, amplify, and shape sounds to optimize speech understanding and listening comfort. It can also adapt to various listening environments and reduce background noise. Providing a more natural and tailored listening experience for the user. Additionally, digital technology enables the Lyric hearing aid to be programmable. Allowing audiologists to fine-tune the device to suit each individual’s unique hearing profile.

The combination of its discreet placement within the ear canal and advanced digital processing technology has made the Lyric hearing aid a popular choice for those seeking a highly inconspicuous and effective hearing solution.

Powered by a small, durable battery, the Lyric hearing aid remains in your ear for several weeks to months, depending on usage. When the battery eventually depletes, a visit to your audiologist becomes necessary for a professional battery replacement.

Hearing Loss:

The Lyric hearing aid is designed to address a specific range of hearing loss. It may not be suitable for all types and degrees of hearing loss. It is typically recommended for individuals with mild to moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss. Here’s what that means:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. It occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss is often caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetics, or other factors.  Lyric hearing aids are suitable for people with a range of hearing loss, from mild to moderately severe. This means it can help individuals who have difficulty hearing softer sounds, conversations, and some everyday noises.

Shape of Ear:

The suitability of Lyric, however, for an individual may depend on various factors, including the shape and size of their ear canal, lifestyle, and specific hearing needs. An audiologist or hearing specialist will evaluate your hearing and determine if the Lyric hearing aid is a good fit for you.

The Lyric hearing aid is designed to accommodate a wide range of ear shapes and sizes, with several factors influencing the comfort and fit of the device. The Lyric aid comes in many different sizes (one technology for all).  Ear canal size plays a significant role, and Lyric offers various sizes to suit different ear canals. Audiologists or hearing specialists use precise measurements to select the most comfortable Lyric size for each individual.

The shape of the ear canal is also a consideration, as Lyric is designed to adapt to various contours. However, some individuals may have uniquely shaped ear canals, which can affect the fitting process. Audiologists assess the specific shape to ensure a secure fit.

Ear Wax:

Excessive earwax production can occasionally impede the placement and functioning of the Lyric hearing aid. Audiologists evaluate earwax production levels and recommend solutions to manage any related issues.  The overall health of the ears is vital for a successful Lyric hearing aid fit. Any existing ear conditions or concerns should be addressed and resolved before considering Lyric.

OTC Hearing Aid:

Choosing between an over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid and a Lyric hearing aid entails considering various benefits and drawbacks. OTC hearing aids offer accessibility, affordability, and the ability for self-adjustment. They are readily available for purchase without the need for professional appointments, providing immediate access to a hearing solution. Moreover, OTC options are generally more budget friendly, making them a cost-effective choice for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who are conscious of their finances. Users can also make basic sound adjustments to fit their preferences.

On the other hand, OTC hearing aids may come with limitations in terms of customization and personalized fitting, potentially leading to suboptimal sound quality and comfort for some users. Quality and performance can vary significantly among OTC options, affecting their suitability for individuals with more complex hearing loss. Additionally, OTC hearing aids lack professional guidance, which may not be ideal for those with severe or unique hearing issues that require a more tailored solution. The absence of professional assessment and fitting raises the potential for improper use, which can lead to discomfort or even ear damage.

Conversely, Lyric hearing aids offer advantages such as discretion and convenience for users with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. These devices are virtually invisible and require minimal maintenance, making them hassle-free. However, Lyric hearing aids are not available over the counter and necessitate professional fitting and periodic maintenance. The choice between OTC and Lyric hearing aids depends on your specific hearing needs, budget constraints, and personal preferences. It is crucial to consult with an audiologist or hearing specialist to ensure the most suitable hearing solution is selected based on your unique circumstances.

A tiny completely-in-the-ear Hearing Aid:

A completely in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid and a Lyric hearing aid each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether one is better than the other depends on individual preferences and specific hearing needs.

Here are some reasons why a completely in-the-ear hearing aid might be preferred over a Lyric hearing aid:

User Replaceable Batteries:

Most completely in-the-ear hearing aids use user-replaceable batteries. This can be more convenient for individuals who prefer to change their hearing aid batteries themselves, without the need for frequent professional appointments for battery replacements.


ITE hearing aids can be custom-made to fit the individual’s ear shape and hearing needs. They offer a high level of personalization, allowing for precise adjustments and fitting.

Easier Maintenance:

User-replaceable batteries and the ability to remove and clean the device can make ITE hearing aids easier to maintain for some users.

Variety of Styles:

ITE hearing aids come in various styles, including full-shell, half-shell, and canal, which can cater to different degrees of hearing loss and aesthetic preferences.

Variety of technology:

Because the in-the-ear hearing aid is a style there are many brands that have different features and levels of technology offering more choices than that of the Lyric.  If one doesn’t like the sound of one hearing aid, there is another choice.

Cost Considerations:

Completely in-the-ear hearing aids may be more cost-effective for some individuals, as they typically have a lower upfront cost compared to Lyric, which involves ongoing professional service fees for battery replacement.

On the other hand, there are reasons why someone might prefer a Lyric hearing aid:


Lyric hearing aids are placed deeper in the ear canal and are virtually invisible to others, making them very discreet. The completely in-the-ear or the invisible-in-the-ear hearing aid can also be pretty discrete as well. So this may not be a true differential benefit.

Continuous Wear:

Lyric can be worn continuously for several weeks, which can be convenient for people who don’t want to deal with daily removal and reinsertion. You may sleep, eat, shower and even swim with them.

The Lyric hearing aid is not considered waterproof. While it is designed to be worn continuously for extended periods, including during activities like showering and exercising, it is not recommended for prolonged or submersion in water. The device can withstand some moisture exposure, but it is not entirely waterproof.

It’s important to take precautions to protect your Lyric hearing aid from excessive moisture, such as using a shower cap or protective cover during water-related activities and ensuring it is dry before reinserting it in the ear. If you have specific questions or concerns about using your Lyric hearing aid in wet or humid environments, it’s advisable to consult with your audiologist or the hearing healthcare professional who fitted the device for personalized guidance on its care and usage.

Comfort and tolerance for having a device positioned deep within the ear canal can vary among individuals. While many users find Lyric to be exceptionally comfortable, others may require an adjustment period to fully adapt.

Designed for long-term, continuous wear, Lyric hearing aids emphasize the importance of a proper fit for both comfort and effectiveness. Audiologists offer guidance and support to ensure a positive and successful experience with the Lyric hearing aid.

No User Maintenance:

Lyric users can leave the device handling, battery changes, and cleaning tasks to professionals, as all maintenance is performed by a professional during scheduled appointments. This can be an issue, however, as many people go away for the winter and are not able to come in to see their audiologist as needed.

Sound Quality:

The Lyric’s placement near the eardrum can provide natural and high-quality sound.

Reduced Feedback:

Because of their deep placement, Lyric hearing aids are less prone to feedback (whistling sounds).  The in-the-ear hearing aid may also not cause feedback depending on a number of factors.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice between a completely in-the-ear hearing aid and over the counter hearing aid  and a Lyric hearing aid depends on an individual’s priorities, lifestyle, and hearing needs. Consulting with an
audiologist or hearing specialist is crucial to determining the most suitable hearing solution for your specific case. They can provide guidance and help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and hearing requirements.

It’s essential to have a professional assessment to determine the right hearing aid for your specific hearing loss, as there are various hearing aid options available to address different degrees and types of hearing impairment.

Hearing Aid Help

Empowering Seniors: A Comprehensive Guide to Hearing Health, Choosing the Right Hearing Aid, and Addressing Key Considerations

November 5, 2023

Enhancing Seniors’ Hearing Health: A Comprehensive Guide to Get What You Need

Seniors should consider getting hearing aids as they can significantly enhance their quality of life and overall well-being. Hearing loss, which is common among older adults, can lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and even depression as it hinders effective communication with loved ones and the world around them. Hearing aids not only improve the ability to hear and understand conversations, but they also promote social engagement, safety, and cognitive function. They enable seniors to reconnect with their surroundings, participate in meaningful conversations, and enjoy the sounds of daily life, from the laughter of grandchildren to the beauty of music and nature. Investing in hearing aids empowers seniors to remain actively involved in their communities, maintain relationships, and experience a fuller and more enriched life.

Before seniors purchase a hearing aid, it’s essential for them to understand several important points to make an informed decision and have realistic expectations. Here are some key considerations about what to know when buying a hearing aid:

1. Consult with an Audiologist or a Hearing Healthcare Professional to Learn About What to Know When Buying a Hearing Aid:

Schedule an appointment with a licensed audiologist for a thorough hearing evaluation. This will help determine the type and degree of hearing loss and provide guidance on the most suitable hearing aid options.

Understanding one’s hearing acuity and thresholds is crucial for several reasons.

First and foremost, it allows individuals to be aware of the extent of their hearing ability. This is essential for early detection and management of hearing loss. This knowledge enables timely interventions, such as hearing aids or other treatments, to address any issues and prevent further deterioration.

Additionally, understanding one’s hearing thresholds helps in setting realistic expectations about their hearing abilities. Making communication strategies and accommodations more effective. It also promotes better self-advocacy, as individuals can express their needs and preferences more clearly in various listening environments.

Finally, it fosters a sense of control and empowers individuals to actively engage in their hearing health. Ensuring a higher quality of life and enhanced overall well-being.

2. Types of Hearing Aids:

There are various types of hearing aids, including behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) models. Each has its own advantages and may be more suitable for specific types of hearing loss. It is important to figure out what to know when buying hearing aids to help understand what type might be best for you.

It is crucial for seniors to comprehend the various hearing aid styles for several reasons.

First, these styles can be customized to different degrees of hearing loss and individual preferences, ensuring a tailored solution. Understanding the range of styles allows seniors to select a device that is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

Moreover, different styles excel in different listening environments. So knowing these options helps seniors choose a style that suits their regular activities. Maintenance and care requirements also vary between styles, so seniors must be aware of these distinctions for effective upkeep.

Additionally, selecting a style that aligns with individual needs, including physical constraints or medical conditions, is important. By being informed about the different styles, seniors can make well-informed decisions. Allowing them to address their hearing loss while considering budget, accessibility, and personal comfort. Ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life.

3. Technology Levels:

Hearing aids come in different technology levels, from basic to advanced. Higher technology levels often offer better performance in challenging listening environments, but they can be more expensive. Seniors should choose a level that matches their lifestyle and needs.

Seniors should strive to gain a comprehensive understanding of their hearing needs to strike the right balance between budget and the quality of hearing care. Overspending on hearing aids that offer features and technology beyond what is necessary for their specific hearing loss can be a financial burden.

On the other hand, underspending may result in dissatisfaction with the device’s performance and could lead to costly future adjustments or replacements. By accurately assessing their hearing requirements, seniors can make well-informed decisions. Choosing hearing aids that are a perfect match for their unique needs, ensuring both effective hearing assistance and a reasonable investment that aligns with their budget, ultimately leading to a more satisfying and cost-effective hearing solution.

4. Budget:

When figuring out what to know when buying a hearing aid, budget plays a large roll in that decision. Hearing aids can vary greatly in price. It’s important to set a realistic budget and explore options that fit within that budget. Medicare typically doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aids, so seniors should consider their insurance and financial resources.

Seniors considering purchasing a hearing aid face an important choice between budget-friendly options like Costco and private clinics offering comprehensive services. Understanding their expectations is crucial in making this decision.

While Costco may offer hearing aids at lower prices, it often comes with a more limited range of services and support. Private clinics, on the other hand, provide a more personalized and comprehensive approach. Including thorough evaluations, custom fittings, ongoing adjustments, and expert guidance.

Seniors who prioritize personalized care and a tailored solution may find private clinics more satisfying. However, those with straightforward hearing needs and a tighter budget may appreciate the affordability of Costco.

Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences, hearing needs, and the level of service and support one desires. Making it essential for seniors to weigh their expectations and priorities when making this significant decision.

5.  Realistic Expectations, an Often Forgotten Topic When Figuring out What to Know When Buying a Hearing Aid:

Seniors should have realistic expectations about what hearing aids can and cannot do. While they can significantly improve hearing, they may not completely restore hearing to its original state. It may take time to adjust to the new sounds and settings.

Expecting clear and comfortable hearing in a very noisy party environment can be a challenging prospect for seniors, even with the assistance of hearing aids. In such settings, the cacophony of conversations, music, and background noise can overwhelm the hearing aid’s ability to filter and amplify sound effectively. Seniors may still struggle to discern individual voices and follow conversations, leading to frustration and a sense of isolation.

While hearing aids are invaluable tools for improving hearing, they may have limitations in exceptionally noisy environments. Seniors should have realistic expectations that while their hearing aids can certainly help, they may still encounter difficulties in these high-noise settings. It’s essential to supplement technology with communication strategies. Like finding quieter spots, using visual cues, or asking others to speak more clearly, to make the most of such social gatherings.

Assistive devices, when used in conjunction with personal hearing aids, can significantly enhance hearing in noisy environments. These devices, such as remote microphones or smartphone apps, can stream clear sound directly to the hearing aid. Improving speech intelligibility and reducing the impact of background noise, thus facilitating better communication and comprehension for seniors in challenging acoustic settings. Assistive device options are an important thing to consider when understanding what to know when buying a hearing aid.

6. Maintenance and Care:

Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of hearing aids. Seniors should be prepared to clean, change batteries, and perform regular maintenance as advised by the audiologist.

Obtaining high-quality service for hearing aid maintenance is crucial for several reasons. First, hearing aids are sophisticated devices that require regular upkeep to ensure optimal performance and longevity. A qualified professional can conduct essential cleaning, adjustments, and repairs, preventing issues that could disrupt the effectiveness of the device.

Moreover, prompt and effective maintenance services can minimize downtime and inconvenience for seniors who rely on their hearing aids for daily communication and quality of life. Additionally, good service providers offer guidance and support, addressing any concerns or questions seniors may have about their devices. Ultimately, dependable maintenance ensures that seniors continue to experience the full benefits of their hearing aids. Fostering improved communication, social engagement, and overall well-being.

7.  Trial Period:

Many hearing aid providers offer trial periods, during which seniors can test the device in different settings. This allows for adjustments and ensures the chosen hearing aid meets their needs.

It is vital not to keep a hearing aid that does not meet expectations for several reasons. Hearing aids are intended to significantly improve an individual’s hearing and quality of life. If a particular device falls short of expectations, it can lead to frustration, reduced communication abilities, and a sense of dissatisfaction.

Prolonging the use of an unsatisfactory hearing aid could have adverse effects on a senior’s overall well-being. Furthermore, hearing aids are long-term investments. Keeping an underperforming device may limit the opportunity to explore better-fitting options that can truly address one’s specific hearing needs.

Therefore, it’s essential to consult with an audiologist, seek adjustments or replacements as necessary, and ensure that the chosen hearing aid aligns with one’s expectations and requirements for improved hearing and a better quality of life.

8.  Compatibility:

Seniors should inquire about the compatibility of their hearing aids with other devices, such as smartphones, to ensure they can take advantage of connectivity features and apps for adjusting settings.

It is essential for seniors to be aware of the capabilities of hearing aids when it comes to integrating with other technologies such as Bluetooth, remote microphones, TV streamers, chargers, and more. This knowledge empowers them to make the most of their hearing aids by harnessing the benefits of modern technology.

Bluetooth connectivity, for example, allows seniors to wirelessly connect their hearing aids to smartphones or their tablets, enabling hands-free calls, facetime calls and audio streaming. Remote microphones improve communication in noisy environments, while TV streamers enhance television-watching experiences.

Understanding these possibilities not only enhances the functionality of hearing aids but also fosters independence and social engagement. It’s crucial for seniors to explore these options and choose the technology that best aligns with their lifestyle and preferences. Ultimately maximizing the benefits of their hearing aids and improving their overall quality of life.

9. Warranty and Repairs:

Understand the warranty and repair options provided by the manufacturer or hearing aid provider. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the coverage and the associated costs. This is a crucial aspect on what to know when buying a hearing aid.

Seniors should be informed about follow-up care and warranties to ensure they receive ongoing support and protection for their hearing aids, promoting long-term satisfaction and reliability.

10. Communication Skills:

While hearing aids can improve hearing, it’s also important for seniors to work on their communication skills. Skills such as active listening and effective communication strategies, to maximize the benefits of their hearing aids.

Seniors should consider aural rehabilitation as an invaluable addition to their journey toward improved listening, especially in noisy environments. Aural rehab programs are designed to enhance not just hearing but also the ability to process and understand speech effectively. In noisy settings, such skills are particularly vital as they help seniors filter out unwanted background noise and focus on conversations. Aural rehab involves exercises and strategies that strengthen auditory and cognitive abilities. Making it easier for seniors to decipher speech in challenging acoustic situations. By embracing aural rehabilitation, seniors can significantly boost their communication skills, regain confidence, and ultimately experience a more fulfilling and active social life. Even in the presence of background noise.

11. Regular Follow-ups:

Seniors should plan for regular follow-up appointments with their audiologist to make necessary adjustments and ensure the hearing aids continue to meet their needs as their hearing changes over time.

Regularly updating hearing tests is of paramount importance for seniors in maintaining optimal hearing health. As hearing abilities can change over time, periodic assessments provide a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s hearing needs and any shifts in their hearing thresholds. This updated information is essential for hearing care professionals to make precise adjustments to seniors’ hearing aids. These adjustments ensure that the devices continue to effectively address any changes in their hearing. Ultimately delivering the best possible auditory experience. By staying proactive with hearing tests and seeking the necessary adjustments, seniors can enjoy consistently clear and customized hearing assistance. Fostering better communication, social engagement, and an improved quality of life.

12. Counseling and Support:

Hearing loss can be emotionally challenging. It’s important for seniors to seek counseling and support, if needed, to address any psychological or emotional aspects of hearing loss.

An audiologist might explain that as we age, it becomes increasingly challenging to follow fast speech due to a natural decline in auditory processing speed. The brain’s ability to process rapid changes in sound deteriorates over time. Making it more difficult to keep pace with quick conversational exchanges. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in noisy environments where background chatter can further complicate the task of discerning and understanding rapidly spoken words. It’s one of the reasons why seniors often benefit from hearing aids and communication strategies to help bridge the gap and ensure they can actively engage in conversations, even when speech is delivered at a brisk pace.

13. Learn About Local Regulations and What to Know When Buying a Hearing Aid:

Seniors should be aware of any local regulations or assistance programs that may help cover the cost of hearing aids or related services.

Seniors can typically find local regulations on hearing aids, including guidelines and resources, through their local Departments of Health or state government websites. These often provide valuable information on hearing healthcare and accessibility.

By considering these factors and seeking professional guidance, seniors can make informed choices when purchasing hearing aids and ensure that they receive the best possible assistance for their hearing needs.

We Can Help You Understand What to Know When Buying a Hearing Aid

Seniors can confidently turn to Hears to U, Audiology Hearing & Hearables in Minnesota for their hearing care needs, as this establishment is renowned for its trustworthiness, transparency, and comprehensive hearing care services. With a commitment to providing seniors with a full-service hearing care experience, Hears to U Audiology ensures that all aspects of seniors hearing health are expertly addressed, from accurate evaluations and transparent guidance to the fitting of the most suitable hearing aids and ongoing support. This trustworthy and transparent approach makes “Hears to U” a reliable choice, offering seniors the peace of mind that their hearing needs are in capable and caring hands.

At Hears to U, Audiology Hearing & Hearables, our commitment goes beyond just evaluations; we emphasize education as a pivotal aspect of our approach to hearing care for seniors. We understand that choosing the right hearing aid can be a complex decision, so we ensure that seniors are well-informed about different hearing aids and the latest hearing technologies available. We take the time to educate seniors on the various options, explaining the pros and cons of each, as well as the technology’s compatibility with their unique needs and lifestyles. This educational approach empowers seniors to actively participate in the decision-making process, ensuring that they have the knowledge to make informed choices that best serve their hearing requirements.

Exploration and Education are Key

Hears Hearing & Hearables is dedicated to assisting seniors in not only finding the right hearing aids but also exploring and educating them on various assisted devices that cater to specialized environments. We understand that unique listening situations may require specialized solutions. We’re here to guide seniors through the options, including technologies like Hearing Loops and FM systems, to address specific challenges they may face in environments like theaters, classrooms, or group settings. By offering education and personalized recommendations, we ensure that seniors are equipped with the knowledge and tools to navigate these specialized situations with confidence, thereby enhancing their overall hearing experiences.

We encourage seniors to consider seeking treatment for their hearing needs at a professional clinic. Hearing loss is a vital sensory system, and we have the expertise and experience to address it effectively, ensuring that seniors receive the care and support they deserve.

Hearing Protection against Hearing Loss

Beyond Ear Safety: Hearing Protection for Your Overall Health

November 5, 2023

Hearing Protection Solutions for Every Situation: Your Auditory Health Partner

Hearing protection is crucial for safeguarding your auditory health and overall well-being, as prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can have a range of adverse effects on your physical and mental health. Here we will discuss some key reasons why hearing protection is important. Covering topics such as hearing loss, tinnitus, heart disease, and other health concerns related to noise exposure:

1. Hearing Loss:

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a common and irreversible condition resulting from exposure to loud sounds over time. When you are exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels (dB) for extended periods, the sensitive hair cells in your inner ear can become damaged. This damage leads to hearing impairment. Consistent use of hearing protection devices, like earplugs or earmuffs, can significantly reduce the risk of NIHL.

The best hearing protection for preserving your auditory health depends on the environment and level of noise exposure you’re facing. Here are some recommendations for different scenarios:

Loud Rock and Roll Concerts:

For music enthusiasts attending concerts, filter-type hearing protection is an excellent choice. These earplugs are designed to attenuate noise evenly across different frequencies. This means you can still enjoy the music while protecting your ears.

High-fidelity musician’s earplugs are a popular option for concertgoers as they offer a more natural sound experience without distortion.

Industrial Work Environments:

In loud industrial settings, it’s crucial to use the highest level of noise reduction possible. Foam or silicone earplugs, which are designed to block out sound effectively, can be used. Ensure they are properly inserted for maximum protection.

Additionally, wearing over-ear earmuffs on top of earplugs can provide even greater noise reduction, creating a dual protection system.

Shooting Ranges:

Shooting firearms can expose individuals to extremely loud noises. In such cases, specialized shooting earmuffs or custom-molded earplugs designed for firearms use are recommended.

These protection options often have a high noise reduction rating (NRR) to safeguard against the sharp and intense sound of gunshots.

Concentration and Studying in Noisy Environments:

If you need to focus in a noisy environment, consider noise-cancelling headphones. These can effectively reduce background noise, allowing you to concentrate better.

In addition, you can wear foam earplugs underneath noise-cancelling headphones for an added layer of protection.

Sleeping in Noisy Neighborhoods:

For individuals who need to sleep in noisy areas, foam earplugs or silicone earplugs can be comfortable and effective in reducing environmental noise.

White noise machines or smartphone apps can also help mask disruptive sounds while sleeping.

Swimming and Water Activities:

Custom-made, waterproof swim plugs or silicone earplugs are essential for protecting your ears while swimming or engaging in water sports.

These earplugs create a tight seal to keep water out of your ears and prevent ear infections.

Hunting and Outdoor Activities:

Hunters can benefit from electronic earmuffs that amplify ambient sounds while instantly blocking out loud gunshots. These provide situational awareness while protecting your hearing.

Remember that the best hearing protection should not only be suitable for the noise level but also comfortable and easy to wear for extended periods. It’s important to choose protection that fits properly and is designed for your specific needs. Thus ensuring your auditory health remains intact in various noisy environments.

2. Tinnitus:

Tinnitus is the perception of ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in the ears when no external sound source is present. Prolonged exposure to loud noises is a leading cause of tinnitus, and it can be a persistent and distressing condition. Protecting your ears from excessive noise can help prevent or mitigate the development of tinnitus.

To mitigate the risk of tinnitus, it is essential to find well-fitting hearing protection that effectively reduces noise exposure. Just as we emphasized above for protecting one’s hearing in various environments.

3. Stress and Mental Health:

Excessive noise exposure can lead to increased stress levels and negatively impact mental health.  Chronic noise exposure can contribute to irritability, anxiety, and even sleep disturbances, affecting your overall well-being. Reducing noise exposure through hearing protection can help alleviate these stressors.

Research has consistently demonstrated the profound impact of stress on mental health. High levels of chronic stress have been linked to a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, and even more severe conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The physiological response to stress, involving the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, can lead to changes in brain structure and function. Particularly in areas related to emotion regulation and cognitive functioning. Chronic stress can disrupt sleep patterns, impair concentration, and contribute to the development of mood disorders. Moreover, individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions may experience exacerbated symptoms when exposed to prolonged stressors. Understanding the strong association between stress and mental health underscores the importance of effective stress management strategies in promoting emotional well-being and overall psychological resilience.

4. Cardiovascular Health:

Recent research suggests a link between long-term exposure to noise pollution and an increased risk of heart disease. Noise-induced stress responses can elevate blood pressure and release stress hormones, which may contribute to heart-related issues over time. Wearing hearing protection can help mitigate the potential cardiovascular effects of noise exposure.

Research has provided compelling evidence linking noise pollution to an increased risk of heart disease. Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, especially in urban areas near busy roads or airports, has been associated with adverse cardiovascular effects. Studies have shown that chronic noise exposure can lead to elevated blood pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, and increased stress hormone release. All of which contribute to a higher risk of developing heart disease. The noise-induced stress response can trigger inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known contributors to atherosclerosis, hypertension, and other cardiovascular conditions. As a result, mitigating noise pollution through urban planning, noise barriers, and personal protective measures like ear protection can play a crucial role in reducing the burden of heart disease in noisy environments.

5. Communication and Safety:

In noisy environments, hearing protection can ensure that you maintain effective communication and safety.  When you’re exposed to loud sounds, it can be difficult to hear important warnings, instructions, or signals, which can be hazardous in various settings, including industrial workplaces and construction sites.  Hearing protection allows you to stay alert and responsive in noisy conditions.

Firefighters, for instance, often face the challenge of communicating effectively in extremely noisy and chaotic environments while responding to emergencies. To overcome this hurdle, they employ a variety of specialized communication techniques and equipment. Just recently we spoke to our Hopkins, MN Firefighters and they shared they commonly use two-way radios or communication systems built into their helmets, which are designed to filter out background noise and provide clear, direct communication with their team members and incident commanders. In addition to audio communication, they may also use hand signals and non-verbal cues to convey important information when verbal communication becomes difficult. Moreover, they shared, that their fire department and others often conduct extensive training to ensure that firefighters can communicate efficiently under high-stress and high-noise conditions. As clear communication is paramount to their safety and the success of their operations.

6. Workplace Regulations Impact Hearing Protection for Your Health:

Many workplaces have established noise exposure regulations to protect employees from harmful noise levels. Employers are often required to provide and mandate the use of hearing protection in high-noise environments to comply with occupational safety standards. Adhering to these regulations helps prevent work-related hearing problems.

Many individuals who have worked in noisy environments without hearing protection and later adopt the practice of wearing appropriate hearing protection often report a noticeable reduction in their end-of-day fatigue. Prolonged exposure to high noise levels can be physically and mentally exhausting. As the constant barrage of sound can lead to stress, irritability, and cognitive fatigue. When these individuals begin using hearing protection, they experience a significant reduction in noise-related stress. This can result in increased comfort and concentration throughout the day. This, in turn, leads to improved productivity and a decrease in overall tiredness when the workday concludes. Underlining the crucial role of hearing protection in promoting both auditory health and overall well-being.

Hearing Protection for your Health:

Protecting your hearing is important for preventing conditions like hearing loss and tinnitus, and reducing the risk of associated health concerns such as heart disease and stress-related issues. Consistently wearing appropriate hearing protection when exposed to loud environments is a simple yet effective way to safeguard your well-being and ensure a higher quality of life.

At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we prioritize your auditory health and understand the significance of protecting your hearing in various environments. Buying hearing protection from us is a simple and beneficial process.

Protecting your hearing in various environments is a priority. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we are committed to providing you with the best hearing protection solutions to safeguard your auditory health effectively. Browse our selection, consult our experts, and make the choice that suits your unique circumstances. Your hearing is invaluable, and we’re here to help you preserve it.

Thanks for caring, Kim

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