PHONAK: Small Custom Hearing Aids

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A scientific study into the most discreet hearing solutions has provided some intriguing results.

Patients suffering from hearing loss desire hearing aids that are not only functional but elegantly designed. A huge part of this design has an emphasis on a compact shell that gives off an almost invisible outline when looked at a glance. However, with the complicated technology and structures within these devices, manufacturers often struggle to meet this standard, making clunky contraptions that work more effectively as an eyesore than a hearing aid.

Recent developments at Phonak have allowed them to create the closest to an invisible hearing aid that can be found, leaving large and obtrusive hearing devices a thing of the past.

 

Titanium is the key material that has allowed this breakthrough. Hearing aid cases are traditionally made from acrylic when designing custom shells, however, shells made from titanium have been found to be 15 times stronger. Because of the increased resilience of the titanium shell, the Vitro B Titanium (the smallest hearing aid by Phonak) has been designed to be 50% thinner. To prove their hearing aids set the industry standard for invisible hearing aids, Phonak conducted a three-month investigation in Stäfa, Switzerland to determine if the theoretical decrease in hearing aid size would be visible in human ears.

A Titanium shell is smaller and stronger than an acrylic shell.
A Titanium shell is smaller and stronger than an acrylic shell.

To do this, the investigation was split into two parts:First, the visibility of the hearing aid at different angles around the wearer was judged by a range of different healthcare professionals. These individuals know the specific areas of the hearing aid that patients tend to complain about the most, allowing them to make an ideal decision. Secondly, the same test was conducted by existing hearing aid users as these people have first-hand insight on the day to day use of hearing aids and will know what their ideal hearing aid should look like.

Results obtained from both samples were then used to calculate an invisibility score based on the percentage of time the observer reported that they couldn’t see the hearing aid in the wearer’s ear. The higher the score, the closer the hearing aid was to being completely invisible. The results from this investigation showed that all Virto B-Titanium configurations had a significantly lower visibility on average, with all models achieving a visibility score 3 times more likely to be perceived as completely invisible. For example, the Virto V-nano was seen as completely invisible on 15% of ear types and the Virto B-Titanium was completely invisible on 43% of ear types.

These results are especially promising for patients that require more powerful hearing aids that tend to be significantly larger than most. With Phonak’s newly improved range of Virto B-Titanium hearing aids, these patients will be able to enjoy a virtually invisible hearing aid that’s both comfortable and desecrate.

To book yourself a hearing examination and experience the types of hearing aids we have to offer. Simply visit our Kent & London hearing centers:  John High Favesham | Sititingbourne, Eye Emporium: Swiss Cottage | Stratford  or simply book via our online application