Helen Keller was once asked which of her lost senses she valued most. She responded:
“ Hearing is the deepest, most humanizing, philosophical sense man possesses….Deafness means the loss of the most vital stimulus, the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of men.”
Hearing loss can occur due to a variety of causes, some of which are “fixable” with surgery, and the vast majority of which are only “aidable.” Generally speaking, conductive hearing losses are ones which are due to an abnormality of the eardrum and the ear bones. Conductive hearing losses may be corrected by reconstructive surgeries or specialized implantable hearing devices. Sensorineural , or inner ear hearing loss, is generally due to damage or loss of the functional units of the inner ear called hair cells. Sensorineural hearing loss is helped by hearing aids, and in severe to profound cases, cochlear implants.
Our goal is to provide affordable, high quality hearing systems to those in need, so that we might provide “the gift to heal, for the world to hear.”
In the United States we believe that approximately 30 million people have hearing loss that could be benefitted by amplification, but only 5.6 million wear hearing aids. There are many reasons cited for this which include: the stigma of wearing a hearing aid; hearing aids are too noisy; they make all sounds loud; and hearing aids are uncomfortable and irritating to wear. But the single most important reason for only 20% of eligible people not having a hearing aid is COST. As it turns out, this cost is supported by the industry who has traditionally focused on the so-called “viable market” of the hearing impaired ( ie., those who can afford to pay higher prices for hearing aids). There is no doubt that such high end, precisely fitted technology is the most effective rehabilitation for specific hearing losses. But this comes with a significant and often prohibitive price tag which is beyond the reach of the vast middle market of the hearing impaired.
Simply put, not everyone can afford a “Mercedes,” even if that is clearly the best drive. Is there a way that the consumer could have a “Volkswagen” instead of a “Mercedes” and still get to where he/she needs to be? I believe that the pre-programmed hearing aid is indeed this “Volkswagen” for most mild to moderate hearing losses, and it will soon produce a paradigm shift within the hearing aid industry.
The rationale behind pre-programmed hearing aids is that they offer a way to adequately fit the vast majority of mild to moderate hearing losses in a simple, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive way. Pre-programmed hearing aids have “pre-fitted” programs in memory that shape frequency gains to statistically common patterns of mild to moderate hearing losses. These programs are simply selected by the patient with a toggle switch, thus bypassing the function of the professional dispenser.
It is as easy as 1,2,3. 1) The hearing aid is simply inserted and appropriately positioned in the ear canal. 2) The program is toggled to the one which sounds most clear. 3) The volume is adjusted to comfort. As the professional dispenser is taken out of the equation, this means that the cost of this device to the consumer comes way down. And yet the pre-programmed hearing aid retains the clarity and quality of sound of the professionally dispensed high end devices, because it has many of the same components ( digital signal processing, directional microphones, noise cancellation and feedback management strategies ).
All pre-programmed hearing aids come with at least a one year warranty except for water damage. And, if you do not like your pre-programmed aid, you may return it within 45 days for a full refund minus cost of shipping. If at this point you wish to be fitted by a professional, please Contact Us for information regarding our recommended technologies and hearing aid centers.