Friday, January 31, 2014

What Does Hearing Aid Mode Do On an iPhone®?

White Smartphone
iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s and 4 models comply with the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility standards. However, to maximize the clarity of your particular model of iPhone, you may need to activate the “Hearing Aid Mode."
What does hearing aid mode do on an iPhone?
Hearing aid mode maximizes the clarity of an iPhone in the absence of a remote or streamer. On an iPhone 4, hearing aid mode works by improving the sound quality when the iPhone is held up to the hearing aid.
Hearing aid mode for the iPhone 5s, 5c, and 5 was designed for hearing aids that have a telecoil. It alters the acoustic settings of the iPhone to promote the clarity of the audio.
Setting Your iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, and 4 to Hearing Aid Mode
To activate the hearing aid mode on an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and choose "Hearing Aid" in the "Hearing" section.
For more information on iPhones and hearing aid compatibility, visit Apple’s hearing aid compatibility page.
For more information on the world's first "made for iPhone" hearing aid, click here.

iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, and 4 are trademarks of Apple, Inc.
Image provided courtesy of Stuart Miles of

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Information on the GN ReSound LiNX™- the World's First "Made for iPhone®" Hearing Aid

GN ReSound recently shared more information about the new LiNX™ hearing aid (the world's first "made for iPhone®" hearing aid) at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Below are some highlights from the information that was shared.

Features of the LiNX™ hearing aid include:

  • The LiNX™ wirelessly connects to iPhones, iPads®, and iPod® Touch devices without the use of a streamer or intermediary device.
    • Therefore, the audio of an iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can be heard in both hearing aids.
      • The hearing aids can act as a type of headset so the user can listen to directions as they're driving, participate in phone conversations, and listen to music in both hearing aids.
  • An app can be downloaded for the LiNX™ that will allow the user to:
    • Find the hearing aids if they're lost
    • Use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as a remote control for the hearing aids
      • Use the device to change the settings of the hearing aids
      • Use the device to program the hearing aids to switch settings in different acoustic environments
    • Use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as a microphone that will stream the user's voice directly to both hearing aids
  • The LiNX™ is the smallest RIE (receiver-in-ear) device powered by a size 312 battery GN ReSound has ever produced

To watch a short presentation detailing the information, click here. For more information on the LiNX™, visit GN ReSound's website.

Apple, iPod, iOS, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple, Inc.

Image provided courtesy of nokhoog-buchachon of

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gift Ideas for People with Hearing Loss

This is an excerpt from our December E-newsletter.
To read the entire newsletter, click here. 
Gift Ideas for the Holidays!
Sometimes it's difficult to know what to buy for someone with hearing loss.  Those who wear hearing aids can also find it challenging to inform loved ones of gift ideas that would be beneficial and compatible with their hearing instruments. Here are some simple gift ideas we believe you'll find helpful:
Stocking Stuffers!
  • Premium Hearing Aid Batteries
    • Premium batteries last longer than drug store hearing aid batteries. A thoughtful stocking stuffer for around $5. 
  • Gift Certificate for Custom Ear Molds
    • Custom ear molds are used for sound protection, sleep improvement, swimming, motorcycle communication, and music listening. (Custom ear molds are exponentially more comfortable than ear buds!)
    • Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about custom ear molds. 
  • Amplified telephones for people who struggle to hear on the phone but aren't ready to wear hearing aids.
    • The CapTel Phone provides captioning for phone conversations.
  • Bluetooth accessories that stream the audio of a television, cell phone, and handheld music device directly to both hearing aids. (see below)
  • KidzSafe Ear Buds by Westone
    • An inexpensive way to protect your children or grandchildren from damaging their hearing as they're listening to their iPods. KidzSafe ear buds limit the decibel level to 85dB.
  • The Hearing Aid Pillow
    • Do you know anybody who needs to wear their hearing aids while they sleep?  The Hearing Aid Pillow features a "trench" that positions the ear so you can rest comfortably and still receive sound without feedback.
If you need help finding or asking for the right gift for your loved one with hearing loss, please don't hesitate to call our office and speak with one of our clinical audiologists.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guidelines for Attending Family Holiday Gatherings... When Hearing Affects Cheering!

Below is an excerpt from our December e-newsletter entitled: "Guidelines for Family Holiday Gatherings and Gift Ideas." To read the entire newsletter, click here.

Just ask anybody with hearing loss: the biggest challenge is hearing in noise, and by definition, family gatherings are noisy. Here are some "rules of engagement" for hosting or mediating a family gathering during the holidays:
  • Before the gathering begins, give each part of your hearing aids a thorough cleaning. Use wet wipes to remove external debris, change the tips or domes, replace the wax traps and/or filters, use your "wire" to clean the tubing. Also, change the batteries. Be sure to check your stash of batteries early, so you always have a supply. The more noise, the greater the battery drain.
  • When dining in, turn down the music during dinner. A tablecloth and linen napkins act to reduce reverberation or echo in the dining room. Echo always reduces clarity. Try to place a cloth cover on the buffet, on the coffee table, and add fabric pillows to a leather sofa to help absorb, rather than reflect sound.
  • Sit at the end of the table so you can SEE everyone. Visual cues always reduce the auditory effort.
  • When dining out, always pick a seat with your back to the room. A table near a wall is best, and sit facing your friend who is seated with her back to the wall. This positioning helps the hearing aids do their best: raise the speech in front of you and lower the noise behind you. All of you folks who like to sit facing the entrance, you will pick up too much noise, and not enough conversation. This worked for cowboys, but not anybody else.
  • Consider making a restaurant reservation for a booth. This captures the immediate conversation and helps to lower the conversations from the next table.
  • At your place of worship, arrive early enough to sit one third back. This place usually works best with a PA system. DO NOT sit in or under the balcony. If your place of worship has a new PA system, inquire about the accessibility for those with hearing challenges: it may be compatible with the telephone program in your hearing aids.
  • Most hearing aids now accept a remote mic to improve noisy conversations (the clarity not the content!). Check with your audiologist to try a trial with a remote mic over the holidays. The remote mic is great for Christmas Eve services, noisy restaurants, "Hail Mary" football games.

Image provided courtesy of Gualberto107 of

Monday, December 9, 2013

Research Findings Could Lead to Improved Hearing Aids

Research findings from Dr. Elizabeth Olson and Dr. Wei Dong of Columbia University could lead to advances in hearing aid technology.  This research sheds new light on how the ear processes and amplifies what it hears. Tiny hair cells within the ear "move" when they receive auditory stimuli. How and when the hair cells "move" ultimately transmits frequency-specific information to the brain. Today's hearing aids currently send auditory stimuli to the entire hearing organ of the ear (cochlea) and cannot replicate how a healthy ear works with the brain to amplify sound. However, researchers hope these new findings will eventually lead to advanced hearing instruments that more naturally amplify sound in line with the ear's hearing abilities.

For more information about this research, click here.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Help for Tinnitus Without Using Hearing Aids

Widex, a manufacturer of premium hearing aids, has introduced a device to help people with tinnitus who do not have an accompanying hearing loss. The Zen2Go device provides relief from tinnitus by playing random harmonic tones. It fits behind the ear and looks similar to a hearing instrument. While it is not necessary for an audiologist to program the device in order for it to work, it is highly recommended that an individual consult with a hearing professional before purchasing it. Seeking counsel from an audiologist who is professionally trained to manage tinnitus will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the Zen2Go device.

To hear what Zen2Go sounds like, click here.

Image provided courtesy of David Castillo Dominici.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An App to Help You Hear Better on a Smartphone

Difficulty conversing on the phone is a common problem for individual's with hearing loss. The quality of the transmission and the presence of background noise complicate the ability to understand what is being said. This often leads the individual with hearing loss to avoid phone conversations almost entirely. 

In October, SoundFest released the RealClarity app to help those with hearing loss hear conversations more clearly on a smartphone. The app is designed to filter out background noise and promote the speaker's voice. The user can also create programs for different listening environments. The RealClarity app is available for Android devices and iPhones®.

For more information, visit SoundFest's RealClarity app page by clicking here.

iPhone is a trademark of Apple, Inc. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc
Photo provided courtesy of scottchan of