Hearing aid advancements open new world for patients

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Hearing aid advancements open new world for patients through Bluetooth technology.

Listening to his favorite music is something Jim Gauthier-Warinner loves to do every day.

"I do listen to music a lot through earphones. So, my concern was listening through my earphones," says Gauthier-Warinner.

This concern came up when he started having a hard time hearing his wife.

"I couldn't hear her. So, I actually had to walk right up in front of her to ask her to repeat it," says Gauthier-Warinner.

In September he came to the Munson Medical Center Hearing Clinic in Traverse City. A few hearing tests immediately concluded there was a definite problem.

"I was deficient in the high frequencies. The low frequencies were ok," says Gauthier-Warinner.

Audiologists worked with Gauthier-Warinner and introduced him to some newer hearing aids that directly connect with mobile devices.

"When I came in I brought my iPad with me. We set it up so it could connect with this little box, the Bluetooth transmitter. We hooked it up, got it going. It was amazing the quality of sound," says Gauthier-Warinner.

It was a simple fix that opened a whole new wave of hearing he was missing out on.

"Birds chirping, things like that you start hearing. So, it takes a little while to get used to that," says Gauthier-Warinner.

From his hearing aid he can directly connect to his iPad through his Bluetooth and listen once again to his favorite tunes.

"I would say the most useful part of it is connecting to a cell phone. It does not have to be a smart phone, just any cell with Bluetooth connectivity," says audiologist Nick Parmer.

Parmer says these type of Bluetooth linked hearing aids are major advancements for patients.

"The Bluetooth hearing aids have been around for about four to five years and uses have gone up with use of other devices," says Parmer.
"I think the technology is great even without the Bluetooth. I think it's really good and the improvement in my hearing is very noticeable," says Gauthier-Warinner.

Parmer says with advancements in hearing aids people don't necessarily have to have severe hearing loss to benefit. He says he treats a lot of patients with mild hearing who are able to benefit tremendously with the technology.

For more information about Munson Medical Center check out their FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.