Hearing aid technology offers hope for patients - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hearing aid technology offers hope for patients

by Natalie Sparacio

MARSHFIELD -- Our rapidly changing digital world, poses challenges to those who have trouble hearing.

This week's Living Well takes a look at how new hearing aid technology is transforming the way patients experience the world around them.

Until now, ipods, computers, and cell phones were incompatible with hearing aids, often causing secondary feedback...meaning whistling and screeching sounds.

Thanks to new hearing aid technology, now patients can get a more accurate, and clear sound during everyday life.

For those who suffer from hearing loss, living in a world that's constantly changing with technology can pose a lot of challenges.

But now, a device called a streamer has made hearing aids compatible and helped do away with background noise and interference.

Dr. Christine Albertus, Au.D., an Audiologist at Marshfield Clinic says, "...they basically eliminated that function from the hearing aid, but also now allow the instrument or sounds to function through the hearing aid itself. So, you don't have to worry about putting something on top of the hearing aid, next to it, or taking the hearing aid out...to use these, like on a cell phone you take the hearing aid out to pick up a cell phone. Well, now where's the hearing aid? Now you cant hear the conversation...this way it's all working together."

You can plug the streamer into your cell phone, computer, or ipod, and the signal links directly to the hearing aid, feeding the sound from the device, and eliminating unwanted interference.

Patients still use their hearing aids all the time, but can use technology directly through the instruments themselves.

Doctors at Marshfield Clinic say the device really does reduce background noise, and they encourage patients to seek help if they're experiencing problems with their hearing.

"...the sooner that we can fit hearing aids to hearing loss the most successful someone will be. the longer you wait the harder it is to get adapted to the sounds around you and be successful with them," said Dr. Albertus.

 If you notice you're having trouble hearing, you may refer yourself to have a hearing test... some insurance companies may require a medical referral.

Living Well is produced in part and sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.

Online Reporter: Natalie Sparacio

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