American Academy of Audiology – “AudiologyNow! 2015”
I’ve just returned from “AudiologyNow!”, The American Academy of Audiology’s yearly national convention and conference. I try to attend every year. It’s a great place to talk to all of the manufacturers of the hearing aids we dispense and the Assistive Devices we recommend to our patients. It’s an opportunity to network with other professionals from around the country and around the world; in the past we have had anywhere between 5000 and 7000 audiologists in attendance. There are hundreds of educational classes offered, which allow me to meet the requirements of my licenses from Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well as the educational requirements that come with being Board Certified in Audiology. As usual, it was a busy three days. The conference was in San Antonio, TX this year, which is a really lovely city.
So what did I do and learn? I had the chance to talk to several of the reps and trainers from ReSound and hear from them about their new family of hearing aids, called LiNX². These hearing aids are an even further improvement of the already excellent family of LiNX aids. Our patients have had a lot of success with these hearing aids due to their adjustability, sound quality and power. They are also “Made for iPhone” hearing aids which allow direct connection to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
I spoke with some reps from Phonak about their new CROS systems – CROS hearing aids are for people with single-sided deafness, meaning that a hearing aid cannot help one ear, but their other ear either has hearing loss that can be helped with a hearing aid or the other ear has no hearing loss at all. By placing a microphone on the “poor” ear, we can wirelessly send the signal to a device on the “better” ear, allowing the patient to hear from the side with no hearing. These devices have been around for many years, but this is the first really good update in some time.
I saw lots of new ideas for helping our patients who are dealing with Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”. There are so many great ways to help those patients that we didn’t have just a few years ago. There is even a new system allowing real-time closed captioning for cell phone calls. I also went to a session put on by a new company working to bring better rechargeable batteries to hearing aids. This is something our customers ask for quite often, but what we have on the market now are not great solutions. This company is looking at a way to retrofit some current hearing aids with rechargeable batteries. If what they presented in their research holds true, this could be a nice advancement for our patients – I will be keeping my eye on them for further developments.
All in all it was another fascinating AudiologyNow! conference. I am continually amazed at the number of people and number of companies who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of those with hearing loss. I always find some new information and some new products I can offer our patients, and I always come back knowing that we can make a difference for you and your loved ones