CINCINNATI--Wondering if a hearing aid would be right for you? Or perhaps you already use a hearing aid, but would like to take advantage of advances in technology over the past few years.
If so, you could benefit from an informational seminar on hearing loss and hearing aids Thursday, Sept. 18, at University Pointe in West Chester.
The event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and includes lunch, is free and open to the public. It will include a presentation lasting about 30 minutes, plus a question-and-answer session, says Stephanie Lockhart, MA, director of audiology in the University of Cincinnati (UC) Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. Lockhart and audiologist Keryn Maionchi, AuD, will lead the discussion.
“There are two groups of people who could benefit from this,” says Lockhart. “The first is people considering hearing aids for the first time. But people who already have hearing aids could benefit too, because we’ll also be talking about what’s new in hearing aid technology.
“The hearing aids that are coming out now are quite different from the ones that were around even five years ago,” Lockhart adds. “So if people want to learn about technology advancements, we’ll talk about that as well.”
For example, if you’ve avoided hearing aids because of the way they look, this might be a good time to reconsider, Lockhart says.
“We know that much younger people have hearing loss than ever before,” she says. “We’re starting to see patients in their 40s and 50s, and they want something that’s cosmetically appealing.
“The hearing aid companies have been able to miniaturize a lot of the technology, so we’re seeing a lot more interesting, small hearing aids that work really well.”
Also, Lockhart says, hearing aids are doing a better job of differentiating between speech and background noise.
“Most hearing aids are digital, so as the sound is coming into the hearing aid it’s analyzed so the device can figure out what is speech and what is noise and treat those things differently,” she says.
“It still doesn’t exist that a hearing aid can always tell speech from noise and just amplify the speech. But we can make hearing aids a lot more comfortable in ambient noise than before.
“Also, a lot of advances have been made with directional microphones in hearing aids, meaning that as you focus on the person in front of you in a restaurant, for example, you won’t hear as much from the people behind you.”
In addition to the Sept. 18 seminar, free demonstrations of new hearing aid technology will be held Oct. 3 at the Medical Arts Building in Corryville (all day) and University Pointe in West Chester (morning only) as part of National Hearing Aid Awareness Week Sept. 28—Oct. 4. This event is geared toward people who already have hearing aids or know that they need them.
“Hearing aids on average last five to seven years, or at least that’s when people tend to replace them,” Lockhart says. “So in that time, the product cycles have turned over a couple of times—there have been a lot of improvements in those years.”
Additionally, people who bring their existing hearing aids to the Oct. 3 event can have them cleaned and checked at no charge.
Reservations are required for the Sept. 18 Lunch & Learn Seminar at University Pointe. Call Angie Keith at (513) 475-7366 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Oct. 3 Hearing Aid Demo Day, reserved free consultations can be made by calling Jen Ujvary at (513) 475-8453 or e-mail email@example.com.