The Art and Science of Building a Hearing Aid

Did you ever wonder how custom hearing aids are manufactured? I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it until a recent trip to Phonak’s US headquarters. It was a wonderful visit. I was able to discuss the patient’s perspective with the company’s leadership and audiologists and learn about the work they are doing to improve hearing aid technology.

One of the highlights was touring the company’s 93,000 square foot hearing aid manufacturing facility in Aurora, Illinois. Opened in 2013, the facility employs more than 500 people in varying shifts that allow it to operate 24/7. Here, the company’s custom hearing aids are constructed. The process is a combination of art and science, just like living with hearing loss.

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Interesting Reads: Smart Hearing by Katherine Bouton

Katherine Bouton’s latest book, Smart Hearing — Strategies, Skills and Resources for Living Better with Hearing Loss, is just that — an excellent guide to living a better life with hearing loss. Using personal anecdotes and containing extensive research on assistive listening devices, the book provides a road map for people at all stages of their hearing loss journey. If you think you may have hearing loss, or know you do, this book is required reading.

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Why Don’t Doctors Routinely Screen for Hearing Loss?

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Hearing Tracker

Every year at my annual medical check-up, the doctor checks my height and weight, listens to my heart and takes my blood pressure. She scans my skin for any moles that might have changed, looks at my eyes, my ears and down my throat. She orders blood work, and sometimes even other tests, but never, not once, has she tested my hearing or even asked me about it.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

The same goes for my children at their annual check-up. Here the doctor does all of the above, plus a vision screening. But only upon request, will they do a cursory hearing test. Given my genetics, I request one for both of my children. Every year.

The lack of focus on hearing as an important part of one’s health is misguided and needs to change. Hearing loss is associated with many health problems, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, an increased likelihood of falls and even a higher risk of dementia. Identifying and treating hearing loss early could be a big help in lowering these risks, improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss, and reducing overall health care costs for us all.

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When Your Mother Has Hearing Loss

Your mother is always there for you. She loves you, before herself. She is your caregiver, confidant, and friend. She is always willing to lend an ear to your daily triumphs and concerns. But what if she can no longer hear you because of a hearing loss? How can you help her through this challenge so that you can both continue to enjoy your special relationship for many years to come? Here are my suggestions. Please share yours in the comments.

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Five Reasons To Get Your Hearing Tested

Do you hear that people are talking to you but have trouble understanding what they are saying? Is it hard for you to hear in restaurants and other places with lots of background noise? Does your family complain that the TV is always too loud? Do you need to see people in order to talk with them? Are you exhausted after sustained periods of communication?

If any of these situations sound familiar, you may have a hearing loss. You would not be alone. Approximately 50 million Americans already have some form of hearing impairment. This includes one in 5 teenagers and 60% of our returning military personnel from overseas.

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