hearing aids

Hearing Care Technology for Hearing Loss

What is new in the World of Technology?

March 4, 2023

What is new in the World of Technology?

If you are eager to learn about the latest and greatest in Consumer Technology, then look no further than the CES Conference.  It is an annual conference organized by the Consumer Technology Association.  Typically it is held in Las Vegas in January and hosts presentations on new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.  The topics are as varied as the name would suggest; ranging from accessibility to smart homes/cities to health, fitness, and gaming.  Hosts include manufacturers, developers, and suppliers of consumer technology.  It is also a place where the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers address the industry’s most pressing issues.

The reach of the Conference is a global one. 

You can imagine that the opportunity to present your product or idea on such a platform could change a business quickly.  Not only do people attend in person, but you can follow along online through multiple media sources in real-time as well as through podcasts.  So if you missed this year, you can attend in the future and learn what was present this year. 

As I mentioned, there were multiple topic categories this year besides our interest of Hearing products. 

Also, as you can imagine, a supplier or an inventor may go to the conference with the idea of pitching their product to a certain clientele, then realize their idea may have additional applications.  Since you are reading this on a blog dedicated to hearing and hearing health, I bet you can guess what types of products I will talk about in this blog. 

Since the FDA recently cleared the way for Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids, several manufacturers were there promoting their new OTC hearing aids. 

Some are household names (like Sony), or known to people in the industry, (like NuHeara),  while still others are perhaps less well known (like Orka).  Other hearing health care technology companies were presenting new hearables (like the OrCam Hear) or accessories for hearing aids (like the Redux professional drying system for hearing aids).

We at Hears Hearing & Hearables want you to be aware of the changes in the hearing healthcare industry; the good and the bad. 

Most people think new technology is good, but for some it can be confusing; others find the new sounds to be too much.  That is why we want you to understand all of your options before you purchase.  In hearing aids, including OTC hearing aids, one size does not fit all.  We are here to guide you through the process with care and transparency.  All costs, fees and services are available at any time. 

Please contact us if you have any question about this blog or the conference.  We are ready to answer any and all of your questions.  Happy Hearing!

cosco hearing aids

Decoding Costco vs. Cosco: Spelling Shenanigans and Google’s Saving Grace

January 16, 2023

“Cosco” Hearing Aids?! The Phonetic Quirk Behind “Cosco” Instead of “Costco”: Unveiling the Spelling Mystery

Have you ever noticed that some people often spell “Costco” as “Cosco”? It originates from phonetics and the way our brains process sounds, constituting a linguistic phenomenon. This seemingly innocent misspelling sheds light on the fascinating interplay between language, phonetics, and human cognition.

Phonetics and the Brain’s Role

At the heart of the “Cosco” versus “Costco” spelling conundrum lies a phonemic phenomenon. Phonetics deals with the sounds of spoken language, and our brains have a natural tendency to interpret sounds based on how we hear them. When we say “Costco,” the /t/ sound is followed by the /s/ sound, which can sometimes blur together in speech. Our brains might perceive it as a single /ts/ sound, leading to the phonetic approximation of “Cosco.”

The way words are pronounced often gives rise to phonemic misspellings in English, rather than their standard written form causing them. For instance, “alot” is a common misspelling, reflecting the phonetic pronunciation of “a lot.” Similarly, “could of” is a phonetic mistake for the contraction “could’ve,” which stands for “could have.” Informal writing often employs “wanna” as a phonetic representation of “want to,” and “gonna” for “going to.”

Other examples include “should of” instead of “should’ve” (short for “should have”), “finnaly” in place of “finally,” “cuz” for “because,” and “their” instead of “their.” The confusion between “your” and “you’re” results from their similar pronunciation. People often use “Definately” phonetically, intending to write “definitely.”

In some dialects, “aks” is used as a phonetic variant of “ask,” while “prolly” stands for “probably.” The phonetic error “nucular” occurs for the word “nuclear,” and “shoulda” is an informal contraction for “should have.”

These instances underscore how language dynamically evolves, as spoken patterns influence written language, leading to phonemic misspellings in everyday writing.

Search Engines and Phonetic Queries

Now, let’s delve into the fascinating world of online searches. When people are looking for information on Costco’s hearing aids, they often type in what they think they heard: “Cosco Hearing Aids.” This produces a classic example of a phonetic query, where the pronunciation of words influences the spelling.The finely attuned Google search algorithm recognizes this pattern of user behavior and accommodates it by providing search results for both “Cosco” and “Costco.”

Grammar and Language Evolution

In the broader context of language, the “Cosco” phenomenon underscores the dynamic nature of grammar and spelling. Languages undergo constant evolution, and over time, spellings can change to mirror the common pronunciation of words. While “Costco” is the correct spelling, the prevalence of “Cosco” in searches reflects the fluid nature of language and how it adapts to our linguistic idiosyncrasies.

Implications and Takeaways: “Cosco” Hearing Aids?!

The “Cosco” versus “Costco” spelling mishap is a reminder of the intricacies of human communication. It highlights the complex interplay between spoken language, written language, and the cognitive processes that bridge the gap between the two. As language enthusiasts, we’re witnesses to the ever-evolving tapestry of communication, where even a simple trip to the store can offer insights into the fascinating world of phonetics and language evolution.

Well, there you have it, fellow language enthusiasts! In our valiant quest for grammatical perfection, fear not the whims of spelling, for the benevolent overlords at Google shall swoop in to save the day. Who needs spelling lessons when our trusty search engine can decipher “cosco” from “Costco” with the grace of a linguistic acrobat? So, let’s raise our proverbial glasses to the almighty Google, our steadfast companion in the adventure of phonemic misspelling. hearrings! Or is it “earrings”? Let Google decide, for it has surely earned its wings in the Spelling Hall of Fame.

Over the Counter Hearing Aid

We Carry Over-the-Counter Hearing aids!

October 20, 2022

Over-The-Counter hearing aids are available now and there will be more available soon.

I have written a couple of blogs about over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.   And we have talked about how we believe that hearing healthcare providers, audiologists, and their teams should be the ones to help you.  We know, however, that the over-the-counter hearing aid will be available at pharmacies, grocery stores, corner markets, and electronic stores over the next few weeks.  We don’t know which brands they will carry or if they will only carry one brand.  Time will tell.

What we do know is that we have the OTC Hearing aid available on our Hears Hearing & Hearables website.

We will carry the OTC hearing aids that are safe and of great quality.  We will have choices for you.  We will not choose only one brand and push it with kickbacks or any shenanigans like that.  We are here to help you find your solution.  It is true that not everyone likes one brand.. unless it is an apple AirPod, or is it that great?  Maybe the AirPod is just fashionable.  Anyway.. We also want to support the smaller manufacturers giving them a chance to compete in this space.  I hope you too will give other products a chance because if we only support one brand, soon there will be no choices.

Will it really be that simple to buy a Hearing Aid online or at a store without the help of an expert?

Yes and no.  (You didn’t really think it would that easy, did you?)

The OTC Hearing aid is going to be very helpful for many people.  It will be especially for a number of people like those who live in under-served areas.  Also helpful for people who now may be more willing to try a hearing aid to see what it is all about now that the hearing-aids will become more common, and less expensive.  From the time a person is diagnosed with hearing loss and the time for them to get help can take as long as 10 years.  Some people get help right away when diagnosed, while others digress.  Everyone is different but in general, most of our patients say “I should have done this years ago” (referring to getting some hearing help).  If you are reading this, you are probably someone who is interested in hearing health.  Then you know that undiagnosed hearing loss can be a risk factor for dementia, depression, falls, and a sense of isolation.  Hearing better improves your ability to process what you hear faster.  Early treatment can make a life-changing difference for those who suffer from hearing loss.

So, there is no question that the new hearing aids that people can purchase over the counter will be a good thing for a great many people.

However, consumers need to educate themselves.  Caveat Emptor.  Yes, let the buyer beware, but also let the buyer be knowledgeable.

What do you need to know?

  1. While a hearing test is not required to buy one of these products, many providers recommend one and we recommend one. It is difficult for a consumer to know if their hearing loss is mild, moderate, severe, due to wax build-up, or some other medical issue.  These OTC aids are meant for adults with a mild to moderate loss.  You need to know before you buy the product if it is appropriate for you.
  2. Be sure you are purchasing an OTC hearing aid that will help you in the situation you want hearing help with.  For instance, if you are having trouble hearing the TV and the TV only, then you might want to get a hearable or an accessory and not a hearing aid to just help you with the TV.  If you are having a hard time hearing in noise, make sure you find a product that will work well for you in noise.
  3. Look at the product’s return policy, customer service plan, and warranty. Check the company website for more information about the device.  Can you return it if you do not like the way it sounds?
  4. What happens if it stops working; can someone help you fix it or does it need to go into the manufacturer for repair?  Who pays for those repairs?  Where can you get help?
  5. This self-fitting process will be new for everyone. Hearing loss is not a one-size-fits-all.  It is not like going to a pharmacy and buying a pair of readers (and according to our optometrists they share that buying readers people make mistakes all the time). Hearing aids, even over-the-counter hearing aids, are still going to be more expensive than vision cheaters.
  6.   Hearing loss is complicated and individual.  Give yourself time with your new aids.   Be patient.  Those who are a bit more tech-savvy may have an advantage.  Some of these devices can be controlled through an app on your phone.
  7. Know what type of aid are you looking for or what you want it to do. Some will have batteries that need to be replaced every few days;  depending on use.  Others will have a rechargeable battery within the aid, and you will need a charger.
  8. Keep all your receipts for warranty purposes and for the IRS. These are medical devices so they could be listed as part of your annual medical expenses.  Check with your tax professional.  See if your insurance will pay any part of the cost, or if you can use your health spending account.


We at Hears Hearing & Hearables are here to support your purchase.

You are welcome to have a free conversation via our email contact or pay for professional consultation via our telehealth.  We can help you find a provider near you that will help support your over-the-counter purchase.   Some of the products we sell will allow for a thirty-day trial.   Some of the products will allow for a two-week test.  Please keep all your packaging if you do think you are going to return them.  We recommend you return them if you are unhappy with the product and try something else.  There will be so many choices.  We can help you find the right choice and we will be sharing as much information we have on the products as they come out.  We also will only sell those devices that we have tested out ourselves.  We are dedicated to helping people on their hearing journey.  It is our passion.  If you purchase an aid through our website or from another site, we are here to help.  There may be a charge for our service but service is going to be harder to find.

Going through this process could be daunting; you do not have to go it alone.

Thanks for reading,  Karen (and Kim)

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