Hearing with Ease
One major hurdle to getting a hearing impaired individual to consistently wear their hearing aids is convincing them the “hassle” of wearing the aids is worth the benefit they receive from them. In 2001, a small medical device company located in California began clinical trials with the first 100% invisible extended wear device that has allowed us to change our way of thinking about hearing aids. In 2008, that device, the Lyric hearing aid, became commercially available.
The goal with Lyric is to provide patients with 24/7 hassle free hearing. After a comprehensive hearing test, the audiologist measures the ear canal and inserts the device, which sits about 4mm from the eardrum. It is programmed according to the patient’s hearing loss and programming adjustments can be made with the device still in the ear. The lyric then stays in the ear until it is time to replace it. The battery used in this aid was designed to last up to four months; however, the actual life of the hearing aid varies depending on patient anatomy and lifestyle. When the hearing aid quits working, the patient returns to our office, the old device is removed, and a new Lyric is put back in the ear.
We began fitting patients at the ACL Hearing and Balance Baton Rouge office in September of 2010. When we first began, the Lyric aid was larger in size. This prohibited many patients from being good candidates for this aid because of fit issues. In 2012, a new design was released which was smaller in size. Since then, we rarely see a patient whose ear canals are too small to accommodate the Lyric hearing aid.
We have also noticed that the Lyric has been a great solution for hearing impaired patients of all ages. Our younger patients often come in because they like the idea of an invisible hearing aid. They are often still active and do not want to stop to change batteries or send a hearing aid in for repair. With some of our older patients, the ease of using the Lyric aid is the initial attraction. Sometimes dexterity problems make changing hearing aid batteries too difficult. With the Lyric, there are no batteries to change. With others, cognitive issues such as dementia may result in lost hearing aids or forgetting to put them on in the morning. Because Lyric stays in the ear for months at a time, patients and family members are comforted in the fact that their loved one is always connected to the hearing world.
Lyric is truly the only extended wear 100% invisible aid available today. If you or a loved one is interested in trying the Lyric, call our office to schedule a 30-day risk free trial. Keeping our patients connected to the hearing world is our goal.