Hearing loss is a major problem in this country. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 1 in every 10 Americans has hearing loss. That’s approximately 28 million people. This number is expected to climb rapidly as baby boomers reach retirement age starting in 2010. Many people don't wear hearing aids because they think hearing aids don't look cosmetically good. Now, Lyric hearing aid may change that.
Most hearing losses develop over a period of 25 to 30 years. Nerve-related deafness (or sensorineural hearing loss) involves damage to the inner ear caused by aging, heredity, trauma, exposure to loud noise, infections, etc. Almost all sensorineural hearing loss (95%) can be effectively treated with hearing aids.
Traditional hearing aids go over the ear. This can expose the microphone to wind noises that interfere with hearing conversations. The Lyric Hearing Aid is the exception to this. It is fitted to sit inside the ear canal next to the ear drum. This brings nice clear sound to the wearer.
The Lyric Hearing Aid system was developed by ENT physicians and audiologists. It is a a miniature microphone, microchip, and tiny speaker wrapped in a small layer of foam. It may be worn 24/7. It’s battery lasts 120 days, so must be changed every 3-4 months by the ENT physician.
Lyric is NOT a surgically implanted device, but is placed and programmed in the office by a Lyric trained hearing professional. No anesthesia is required. The sizing and fitting process for Lyric takes about one hour. Replacement visits take only 10-15 minutes.
Lyric is water resistant, so showering is okay. Swimming and diving underwater are not recommended.
MRI’s can damage or dislodge the Lyric, so it must be removed before having an MRI. It does not have to be removed before having an X-ray or CT scan. Lyric makes using headphones or cell phones much easier than traditional hearing aids.
At this time, Lyric is not covered by insurance. Traditional hearing aids cost from $2000-3000. Lyric is sold on a subscription basis, meaning patients will purchase one year of Lyric hearing at a time. Currently that is approximately $1700 per year. Patients can talk with their Lyric trained hearing professional to discuss exact pricing and payment options.