No dexterity issues with small hearing aids

While some hearing aid wearers are elated at the small size of modern-day hearing aids, those with dexterity or sight issues might feel they will have a more difficult time inserting the hearing aid, using the device and changing the batteries.

If your hearing issues have led you to believe you might need a hearing aid, but you have challenges with dexterity or vision, you also may have more concerns about how you’ll change those tiny batteries or fit that hearing aid in place than about getting the hearing aids themselves.

Lisa Standaert, Au.D., Phonak Research Audiologist, provides insights on how invisible hearing aids, like Phonak Lyric, and rechargeable hearing aids, like Phonak Audéo Marvel™, can be great sources of hearing even with dexterity issues.

Dexterity Issues Affect All Ages

Dexterity challenges can occur with multiple health issues, including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. Standaert explained, “Any kind of hand injury, problems with the wrist or fine motor skills can affect someone at any age.”

In addition, peripheral neuropathy — which is associated with diabetes — osteoarthritis and other skeletal issues, as well as visual acuity can make the handling and wearing of hearing aids more challenging.

With hearing aids getting smaller, someone with less sensitivity in their hands or problems grasping might have a harder time using the hearing aid to its full capacity. Concerns about these tasks sometimes stand in the way of someone with hearing issue seeking help. However, those who have dexterity issues may find that the advancements in hearing aid technology and support have created solutions that can alleviate their fears.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids Help

The hearing innovations of Audéo Marvel alleviate some of the challenges dexterity issues bring. “First, Marvel has a rechargeable model, meaning there are no batteries to change,” Standaert shared. “When you open the Audéo Marvel’s rechargeable case and take the hearing aids out, the hearing aids are automatically on, so there’s no need to find a button.”

In addition, from a hearing technology standpoint, Marvel features AutoSense OS™ 3.0, a program which automatically adjusts to the environment the hearing aid wearer is in. “This means there’s no need to find a small dial or button to adjust the volume or find the right setting — the hearing aid does that automatically,” said Standaert.

For those who embrace technology, there’s an app for the Audéo Marvel that the wearer can use to help with adjusting hearing aid volume. “Often the app buttons are larger and therefore, easier for those with dexterity issues to use,” she explained.

Invisible Hearing Aids Provide Additional Support

For even more of a no-fuss solution, invisible hearing aids, such as the Lyric, are inserted and removed by the trained fitter in the hearing care provider’s office. These hearing aids are designed to last, on average, about six weeks and have a battery already installed in the device.

With consistent appointments, the wearer never has to touch or remove the device. “If you do desire a change,” Standaert advised, “there’s a sound link wand. You don’t have to press anything. You just hold that wand to the ear canal, and you can change the volume or put the device in sleep mode.”

These technologies let you make the necessary adjustments and live life on your terms.

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