Hearing aid batteries in Honiton, Devon

News update on how rechargeable hearing aid batteries actually work in real life.

EXPERT INSIGHT #2: How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this?

The Honiton hearing centre for earwax removal and Microsuction.

Courtesy of ZPower

 

 

 

 

Barry A. Freeman, PhD

Hearing aid batteries and rechargeable batteries are all around us these days. Honiton hearing centre looks at a recent news article showing how they all work in real life scenarios.

Barry Freeman, PhD, is vice president of business development for ZPower, and has been leader and educator in the global audiology community for over 35 years. Prior to joining ZPower, he was CEO and president of Audiology Consultants Inc (ACI), a private audiology consulting firm, and senior director of Audiology and Education for Starkey Hearing Technologies, a global manufacturer of hearing aids. Dr Freeman has served as chair and professor of Audiology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and has taught full time or as an adjunct professor in some of the most distinguished audiology programs in the country. Additionally, he owned and practiced for 20 years at the Center for Audiology in Clarksville, Tenn, and Hearing Services of Kentucky in Hopkinsville, Ky. He is a past president of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), served on the AAA Board of Directors for 6 years, and continues to serve on several professional boards.

Q & As: This Week’s Top Selections

Q: How long should the battery last after a full charge?  How much does Bluetooth activity affect this? —Brent Spehar

A: This is a great and very important question.  Battery life is dependent on several factors including the amount of capacity of the battery, how fast the hearing aid drains the current, and the wear behaviors and habits of the user.

Much like a car's mileage range depends on its gas tank and the owner's driving habits, the battery life of a hearing aid depends on the capacity of the battery, and the listening enviroments and use of the various hearing aid functions.

Much like how a car’s mileage range depends on its gas tank, the driving conditions, and the owner’s driving habits, a hearing aid’s battery life depends on the capacity of the battery, the wearer’s listening environments, and use of the various hearing aid functions, including audio streaming.

I like to use the example of an automobile.  How many gallons of gas does the fuel tank hold or, for hearing aid batteries, how many mAh capacity is in the battery?  How many miles per gallon does the car use or how many mA does the battery drain both when streaming and not streaming?  And, finally, is the car driven on the highway or in the city and is the air conditioner on or off?  Or, for hearing aids, how many hours per day does the hearing aid stream?  Does the hearing aid use 2.4 GHz streaming or does it is use NFMI with an intermediate device that has its own battery?  And, what features are turned on or off on the hearing aid?

Ask Your Question!

Send your questions to editor@hearingreview.com or via the comment box below.

Once you answer these questions, you can figure out “how long the battery will last after a full charge.”  I gave some example calculations in the HRarticle:  The Changing Landscape of Hearing Aid Batteries (Hearing Review, October 31, 2017).  

Please note a factor we have learned in our electronics’ lab.  Not all hearing aids are the same.  Some 2.4 GHz products have current drains averaging 4.8-5.0 mA when streaming while other 2.4 GHz products using lower power Bluetooth will drain the battery at 3.0-3.4 mA while streaming.  Some 2.4 GHz products when not streaming may have battery drains of 1.8-2.0 mA, while some of the newer products with bilateral beam-forming may drain the battery at 2.3-2.5 mA when not streaming.

The key is to know your products and know your patient’s listening habits.  This is critical to good counseling.

Q: Is the life of the hearing aid circuit reduced as a result of using the rechargeable system? It did happen when [a previous model of hearing aid] were rechargeable. —Anjan Muhury

A: The ZPower Rechargeable System has been thoroughly evaluated by the hearing aid manufacturers and there is no indication that the system will have a negative effect on the life of the hearing aid circuit. The ZPower silver-zinc battery is designed to mimic the performance of traditional zinc-air batteries and is transparent to the DSP of the hearing aids. Extensive studies of hearing aids using the ZPower System also show the system including the ZPower silver-zinc batteries have no impact on the electrophysiologic performance of the hearing aids. Therefore, the ZPower System will not have a negative impact on the hearing aid circuitry or performance.

Previous Q & A’s

Q: What’s a realistic time frame for a rechargeable hearing aid battery to last?

A: Rechargeable silver-zinc batteries last about a year. They are removeable and therefore easily replaced. It is recommended that rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are replaced once a year by a hearing care professional.

Li-ion batteries are sealed within the hearing aid, and are usually removable only by the hearing aid manufacturer. They last approximately 4 to 5 years.

ZPower Rechargeable Hearing SystemQ: What would happen if my patient accidentally places their hearing aids in the charger while they have zinc air batteries in them?

A: When the hearing aids are put on the charger, the charger will check to see what type of battery is in the hearing aid.  If the charger detects a disposable zinc air battery, the lights on the charger will turn red.  If the charger detects a silver-zinc battery, the lights on the charger will start blinking green; once the battery is fully charged, the lights will turn solid green.

Q: Can my patients overcharge a ZPower battery if they leave it in the charger for too long?

A: The batteries will not overcharge if left in the charger.  It is a best practice to put the hearing aids back on the charger when the hearing aids are not being worn during the day.  This will keep the hearing aids turned off and the batteries charged.  For long-term storage, if batteries will not be used for over 2 weeks, the rechargeable batteries should be removed from the hearing aids and stored in a location where they will not touch each other or other metal objects.

Q: What happens when the silver-zinc rechargeable battery is getting low on power?

A: The hearing aid wearer will hear the low battery warning.  Once the low-battery warning occurs or once a hearing aid shuts off due to a low battery condition, the battery door should not be opened and closed to reboot the hearing aid. Rebooting after the low battery warning can override the smart circuitry in the battery door into believing it has a traditional disposable battery installed and, although the hearing aid will continue to work for a short period, it may over-discharge the battery. If a low-battery warning from the hearing aids is received, the hearing aids should be placed in the charging base for charging or the batteries should be replaced with non-rechargeable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

Q: How often should the batteries be charged?

ZPower-Sustain-FTRA: The batteries should be fully charged every night. Once the hearing aids are finished charging, the indicator lights turn from blinking green to solid green. A full charge may take up to 7 hours—the charge time varies based on how much the battery was depleted during the day. Do not try to extend battery life by charging every other day, as this increases the chances of depleting the battery. A fully depleted battery will take longer to charge and may not fully charge in time for next use.

Q: What happens if the hearing aid wearer forgets to charge the battery at night?

A: They can use a disposable zinc-air battery until it is convenient to re-charge the batteries—ideally the rechargeable batteries should be charged the next night.  The rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are a gold color, so they will not be mixed up with zinc-air disposable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should be stored in a safe place and should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

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Earwax removal in South Devon

‘CNN’ Profiles Inventor of HearGlass

Earwax removal in South Devon

The cheapest Earwax removal centre in Devon

Honiton hearing news:

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Peter Sprague, the 78-year-old inventor of HearGlass—a technology that incorporates amplification into eyeglass frames—is featured in a recent CNN profile. 

At the Honiton hearing centre we offer the cheapest earwax removal in the whole of South Devon

According to the article, Sprague was frustrated by how standard hearing aids “distorted audio” and has incorporated directional microphones, Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities, and a discreet design into his fourth-generation prototype.

Marshall Chasin, a frequent contributor to Hearing Review, was quoted in the article about the ways hearing aid manufacturers have improved their devices to help provide users with more dynamic sound options.

To read the article in its entirety, visit the CNN website here.

For more info on our earwax removal look at our microsuction page.  https://honiton-hearing.co.uk/services/earwax-removal/

Source: CNN

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Devon earwax removal

Devon earwax removal, @ the Honiton hearing centre.

The best and cheapest place for earwax removal in Devon is at the Honiton hearing centre.

 

Salt- or Sugar-Based Solution May Diminish Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Honiton hearing news:

soldier aims gun

It’s well known that exposure to extremely loud noises—whether it’s an explosion, a firecracker, or even a concert — can lead to permanent hearing loss. But knowing how to treat noise-induced hearing loss, which affects about 15% of Americans, has largely remained a mystery. That may eventually change, thanks to new research from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, which sheds light on how noise-induced hearing loss happens and shows how a simple injection of a salt- or sugar-based solution into the middle ear may preserve hearing, the school announced on its website.  The results of the study were published in PNAS.

Deafening sound

To develop a treatment for noise-induced hearing loss, the researchers first had to understand its mechanisms. They built a tool using novel miniature optics to image inside the cochlea, the hearing portion of the inner ear, and exposed mice to a loud noise similar to that of a roadside bomb.

They discovered that two things happen after exposure to a loud noise: sensory hair cells, which are the cells that detect sound and convert it to neural signals, die, and the inner ear fills with excess fluid, leading to the death of neurons.

“That buildup of fluid pressure in the inner ear is something you might notice if you go to a loud concert,” said the study’s corresponding author John Oghalai, MD, chair and professor of the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and holder of the Leon J. Tiber and David S. Alpert Chair in Medicine. “When you leave the concert, your ears might feel full and you might have ringing in your ears. We were able to see that this buildup of fluid correlates with neuron loss.”

John Oghalai, MD

John Oghalai, MD

Both neurons and sensory hair cells play critical roles in hearing.

“The death of sensory hair cells leads to hearing loss. But even if some sensory hair cells remain and still work, if they’re not connected to a neuron, then the brain won’t hear the sound,” Oghalai says.

The researchers found that sensory hair cell death occurred immediately after exposure to loud noise and was irreversible. Neuron damage, however, had a delayed onset, opening a window of opportunity for treatment.

A simple solution

The buildup of fluid in the inner ear occurred over a period of a few hours after loud noise exposure and contained high concentrations of potassium. To reverse the effects of the potassium and reduce the fluid buildup, salt- and sugar-based solutions were injected into the middle ear, just through the eardrum, three hours after noise exposure. The researchers found that treatment with these solutions prevented 45–64% of neuron loss, suggesting that the treatment may offer a way to preserve hearing function.

The treatment could have several potential applications, Oghalai explained.

“I can envision soldiers carrying a small bottle of this solution with them and using it to prevent hearing damage after exposure to blast pressure from a roadside bomb,” he said. “It might also have potential as a treatment for other diseases of the inner ear that are associated with fluid buildup, such as Meniere’s disease.”

Oghalai and his team plan to conduct further research on the exact sequence of steps between fluid buildup in the inner ear and neuron death, followed by clinical trials of their potential treatment for noise-induced hearing loss.

Original Paper: Kim J, Xia A, Grillet N, Applegate BE, Oghalai JS. Osmotic stabilization prevents cochlear synaptopathy after blast trauma. PNAS. 2018. Available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/05/01/1720121115.short?rss=1

Source: Keck School of Medicine of USC, PNAS

Image: Keck School of Medicine of USC

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Earwax removal in Devon (Honiton hearing centre)

Earwax removal in Devon at the Honiton Hearing Centre.

Earwax- (ear wax), removal in Devon at the Honiton hearing centre.

 The Honiton hearing centre conduct free hearing test and hearing aid trials. Colin Eaton is the Chairman of AHHIP and is fully trained and qualified to conduct Microsuction and ear irrigation at his clinic in Honiton Devon.
Oticon OPN_miniRITE_miniRITE-T_BTE13 PP_

Reportedly the “official supplier” of hearing devices to the Veterans Affairs Administration, Department of Defense, and other federal agencies, Oticon has already brought the Oticon Opn™ open sound experience to many US veterans and active duty military service personnel, the company announced.  Microsuction of the ears to reduce ear wax is crucial before any work is done on a free hearing test at the Honiton hearing centre, the Oticon Government Services team will supply two new Opn solutions, Opn miniRITE-T and BTE Plus Power, and two new features, Tinnitus SoundSupport™ and Speech Rescue LX, to support the care provided by VA and government audiologists.

Microsuction for earwax removal is critical before any hearing aid is dispensed. Failing Microsuction there is always the option for the traditional earwax removal using water irrigation (ear irrigation).

“Many hearing care professionals in the Veterans Affairs Administration have experienced firsthand how Opn’s benefits of less effort, better recall, and better speech understanding in noise provide real-world, practical, and significant impact on quality of life,” said David Horowitz, Oticon Government Services manager. “Now our expanded offerings bring even more benefits to more patients, especially veterans suffering with tinnitus, the most prevalent service-connected disability.”

Tinnitus SoundSupport is designed to enable VA audiologists to address the needs of veterans who experience both hearing loss and tinnitus with a range of customizable relief sounds, including broadband and ocean-like sounds. For veterans who prefer a telecoil, the small, discreet Opn miniRITE-T features a telecoil and tactile toggle switch for volume and program control.  The Opn BTE 13 Plus Power gives veterans with hearing loss up to 105 dB HL access to Opn’s open sound experience. This hearing solution features a telecoil, toggle switch, and a two-color LED indicator.

All Opn styles and performance levels now also feature Speech Rescue LX, a feature that is designed to improve clarity and speech understanding for people with high-frequency hearing loss, according to Oticon. Speech Guard LX is designed to increase access to speech by rescuing speech cues that might otherwise be inaudible.

For more information about the expanded Oticon Opn family, visit www.Oticon.com/OPN.

Source: Oticon

Image: Oticon