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New Hope for Better Hearing

Recovering communication can be one of the most difficult aspects of stroke rehabilitation. While strokes don’t typically cause hearing loss, existing problems with hearing can be exacerbated by a stroke. Improved hearing technology can relieve the strain of hearing loss and aid in the process of recovery with communication issues.

Time for a Better Hearing Aid

According to a study published in Hearing Review, there are more than 34 million individuals in the U.S. with some form of hearing loss and only 25 percent own hearing aids.  Even among those people with hearing aids, studies show that more than 65 percent are not satisfied with how their hearing aids work.

 “We have to face it. We live in a world that’s constantly getting louder and more complicated. There is more feedback and noise and that makes it difficult for a person to fully grasp sounds that used to be easily heard,” says Dr. Philip Griffin, Chief Audiologist at Now Hear This, an audiology clinic in North Carolina.

Now Hear This is the first audiology practice in the US to use the newly FDA-approved ACAM® 5 to improve the performance of hearing aids. The technology allows audiologists to closely map the contours and curves of a patient’s ears and determine how each person perceives loud and soft sounds. 

 Now Hear This is a boutique clinic that specializes in delivering only the highest quality in hearing care to every patient. Their procedure, known as AccuFit™, uses the ACAM® 5 to better diagnose the extent of any hearing loss and improve the hearing through a variety of solutions. It allows the clinic’s audiologist to fit patient’s hearing aids correctly the right the first time, and customize individual hearing solutions.

How It Works

The AccuFit™ program includes a series of hearing aid fitting tests. They show the audiologist how to personalize the patient’s hearing solution, provide the ability to program the hearing aids to compensate for each patient’s unique strengths and weaknesses.

Why Proper Fit is So Important

Traditionally, a proper fitting for hearing aids is always recommended but Consumer Reports (2009) found that two-thirds of patients who purchase hearing aids were not fitted properly, which resulted in the aids being too loud or not loud enough.

“For people who are dissatisfied with their current aids, the problem usually isn’t the aids themselves. Only a small fraction of other hearing aid professionals use real-ear measurements and our fitting tests, because they believe it takes too much time. That means they are using a lot of guesswork,” says Dr. Robert Keefer, CEO of Acousticon, Inc., the company responsible for introducing the ACAM® 5 to the US market. “The ACAM®  5 helps audiologists do this with better precision than any other machine on the market.”

Dr. Griffin said that fitting systems that address the patient’s individual hearing needs are proven to be the best way to accurately determine a patient’s hearing loss and measure the effectiveness of a patient’s hearing aid. “Proper fitting is much more than ensuring that the hearing aid fits comfortably in the ear. It means the audiologist has taken the time to use tools and technologies that give the patient the ability to understand speech and hear the sounds of life in the most natural way possible.”

The ACAM® 5 technology can be used for  both new patients and patients that already use hearing aids but are not experiencing enough clarity.

“A lot of our patients are first-time visitors who have come to the conclusion that they have a problem and are ready to do something about it. Others (about 30 percent) are current hearing aid owners who haven’t experienced the performance that they need from their hearing aids,” said Dr. Griffin. “In many cases, we have become the ’go-to’ clinic for hearing aid users who have all but given up on their hearing aids because they are not experiencing proper performance.”

Since Now Hear This introduced the ACAM® 5 technology, a surge of patients have come to their Raleigh office from across the US. Ed McDonald traveled all the way from Dallas, Texas, for a re-fitting using the ACAM® 5 system and was stunned by the improvements to his hearing. “I hear better than I ever have before with a hearing aid, and I have been wearing them for years.”

By: Peter Dawyot, communications coordinator at Now Hear This

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"I hear better than I ever have before with a hearing aid, and I have been wearing them for years."

The Trick to hearing tech

  • Improved hearing technology can relieve the strain of hearing loss and aid in the process of communicative recovery.
  • New technology maps the contours and curves of a patient’s ears and determines how each personal perceives sound.
  • A series of hearing aid fitting tests show audiologists how to personalize the patient’s hearing solution.
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