I’ve recently been involved in an email exchange with a friend about the implantable hearing aids produced by Phonak called the Lyric. My friend described them as “life changing” and I was intrigued to find out what the difference was between these and my normal hearing aids.
Firstly, they are tiny and are placed deep within the ear.
I can certainly see the benefits of this because they’re obviously discrete, and being completely inside the ear, would mean that I could have my ears free again to tuck my hair behind in the wind and be able to perch my spectacles on my ears properly rather than at an angle over the top of my BTE hearing aids.
Secondly, once they’re implanted, the hearing aid stays there for three months at a time and can be left in 24/7, even in the shower.
There are obvious benefits to this too, for example being able to hear a fire alarm in the middle of the night. But on the other hand, I have to admit that sometimes I quite like being able to ‘switch off’ completely at the end of the day and lapse into quiet solitude. I’m not sure how easy it would be to adjust to be able to hear 24/7 again. It would take quite a bit of getting used to.
However, the most important benefit for me, I think, would be to be able to get by at work. Home life is manageable where you’re amongst family and friends who will try their best to accommodate your hearing loss. However, sitting in a room of 20 acquaintances and trying to chair a meeting when you keep missing bits of the conversation can quite frankly be very stressful, especially when you ask someone to repeat themselves twice and you still don’t quite understand what it is they are talking about!
The other thing about these new implantable hearing aids is that they’re analogue rather than digital which I’d thought might be somehow inferior. However, having asked the twitter world for their views, I found that my assumption wasn’t as clear cut as I’d thought.
Because the hearing aid is implanted deep in the ear, the fact that it’s analogue actually means that battery life is excellent and the sound quality is also very good as its so close to the eardrum. Therefore, it sounds like a very good option and if I had any incentive to change from what I currently have, it would definitely be to improve my working life which is very important to me. The question is, because you pay for them on a subscription rather than buying them outright, are they worth paying the £3000 a year or so for?
Do you wear Lyric aids or have any experience of using them? Do you think its a price worth paying?
For those interested in learning more about the Lyric hearing aids, here’s a link to learn more. http://www.phonak-lyric.co.uk