About Earlens Hearing Aids
Earlens Hearing Aids was founded in 2005 by Dr. Rodney Perkins. It is a privately-owned medical technology provider that specialises in hearing aids and supporting those with hearing loss. Earlens hearing aids has over 40 US patents and around 50 patents internationally.
Earlens Hearing Aids Mission
Earlens’s mission is to develop a new type of hearing aid that offers better sound transmissions. Their principal product is the Earlens Contact Hearing Solution, which is a contact hearing aid that uses light and a small lens that vibrates the eardrum; the goal is to imitate the natural hearing process. It was approved by the FDA in 2015 and again in 2019 for a second generation of the Earlens technology.
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The Earlens Contact Hearing Solution
The Earlens Contact Hearing Solution is available as the main product from Earlens Hearing Aids. For mild-to-severe hearing loss, it is customized to each individual ear shape and anatomical requirements. Below is an overview of what it is composed of and how it functions.
How does the Earlens Hearing Solution Work?
There are three parts to the Earlens Contact Hearing Solution, namely, the Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Processor, the Ear Tip, and Lens. Each part functions simultaneously to facilitate a more natural hearing process using pulses of energy from sound to vibrate the eardrum.
BTE Processor: this part processes all sounds that come from the external environment, which is transferred to the Ear Tip.
Ear Tip: this is placed within the ear canal, it converts the sounds into a signal, which is transferred as audio data to the Lens.
Lens: using a layer of mineral oil, the lens is placed, or ‘floated’, on top of the eardrum. The signals from the lens will vibrate the eardrum, which activates hearing.
What additional features come with an Earlens Hearing Aid?
The following features come with an Earlens hearing aid to enhance the hearing experience:
Directional Microphones: These are located in the Processor and automatically adjusts (otherwise referred to as automatically adaptive) to the environments where sound quality is lower.
Wireless Recharging and Travel Charger Case: The hearing aid processor is rechargeable with an internal battery. It charges up to 4 hours and can last a whole day; it does not require any other batteries. It comes with the travel charger case, which allows for charging on the go. The Lens is charged by energy that comes from the Ear Tip and does not use any batteries.
Programmable: Depending on hearing needs, users can program their hearing aids to suit different sound environments. These range from more public / social spaces like restaurants, concerts, or outdoor activities to indoor / private spaces.
Smartphone Connectivity: The Earlens Control App is compatible with numerous Apple iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch. From the Control App users can make adjustments to different settings like volume control, programs, locating their Earlens Processors, and referring to how-to guidelines. Users can stream music and receive phone calls from their devices. It is not yet available for Android OS.
3 Different colors: There are three different colours available, namely, black, bronze, and gray.
What are the benefits of Earlens Hearing Aids?
There are several benefits when it comes to using the Earlens Hearing Solution, of which includes Premium Sound, Premium Care, and a Unique Fit. It adapts to various sound environments and with a wider frequency range, 125 to 10,000 kHz it provides a hearing experience that is as close to natural hearing as possible, this also improves understanding speech quality. It reduces whistling noises with its feedback reduction technology and includes 20 different channels. Any ‘blocked ear’ sensations are removed due to the open ear canal, alternatively known as an open-fitting hearing aid system.
In-person support is provided by an Audiologist and an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Specialist who assists with fitting, lens placement, and programming of the hearing aid based on individual hearing loss needs and ear shapes.
How does the Earlens Hearing Aid fit in the ear?
While all three parts of the Earlens hearing aid are removable, the Lens can only be removed by an ENT Physician that specializes in Earlens hearing aids. Users can remove and insert the behind-the-ear Processor and Ear Tip themselves. The hearing lens is held in place on the eardrum with mineral oil, which ensures optimal functioning much like a contact lens on the eye.
How to maintain the Earlens hearing aid
Purchasing an Earlens hearing aid might seem daunting because of it’s delicate parts, but knowing how to maintain it will avoid any mishaps. Users are recommended to consult with their Earlens ENT Physician once a year for a checkup. When showering or swimming, where water might come into contact with the lens, it is advised to wear earplugs and to remove the behind-the-ear Processor and Ear Tip. Additionally, using Q-tips, curettes or other ear cleaning tools should be used with caution to avoid damaging the Lens.
Who is Earlens Hearing Aids for?
Earlens is suited to people with severe hearing loss who need alternative methods to address their hearing needs.
Are Earlens hearing aids amplifiers?
The Earlens Hearing Aid is different from traditional hearing aid models that use speakers to amplify sounds - it uses vibrations on the eardrum to transmit sounds. With this technology sounds are amplified across a larger sound frequency range (125 to 10, 000 kHz).
Earlens Hearing Aids Reviews
Many patients offer feedback that Earlens Hearing Aids is an innovative technology and alternative solutions to address hearing loss, especially for severe hearing loss, including hearing being more ‘natural’ than other hearing devices. To use the hearing aid patients need to consult with their ENT Physician and Audiologist (for fittings and programming) and some dispensers may not be available to do this in the user’s location. Additionally, the costs involved for the entire process of using an Earlens Hearing Aid may reach up to $20, 000, which could cause many patients to consider looking elsewhere. Users have reported other brands that offer more ease-of-use, accessibility, and affordability with minimal risks involved during the fitting process.
Are Earlens hearing aids any good?
Earlens Hearing Aids offer users a unique hearing solution, with many reviews reporting the efficacy of having a Lens on the eardrum that enhances natural sounds and blocks out external noises. Patients and Providers both report a level of hearing that is very natural with the ability to pick up on subtle noises that weren’t heard before.
The retail price for a pair of Earlens Hearing Aids will be different with each dispenser or clinic. It’s recommended to consult directly with your hearing aid provider about the price and additional costs that will result from consultation visits and follow-ups, impressions, lens placement, and fittings.
How much does the Earlens Hearing Aid cost?
The cost for an Earlens Hearing Aid can range from between $5000 to $12, 0000 per device and per pair. The price will vary depending on the hearing loss needs and additional inclusions and services.
How can I purchase an Earlens Hearing Aid?
Patients can find an Earlens Hearing Aid dispenser by visiting the Earlens website, and under ‘Find a Provider’ they can enter their zip code, which will display the nearest location on a map. Alternatively, users can contact Earlens customer care and speak to an Earlens support consultant. From the website, users can also schedule a demo session to test their level of hearing. Importantly, patients will need to consult with an ENT Physician and Audiologist to confirm the level of hearing loss and measure ear canal shape, who will also fit the Lens and program the Processor.
Is there a warranty period for Earlens Hearing Aids?
There is a 3-year warranty period for Earlens Hearing Aids. Any component replacements, defects due to manufacturing, and software upgrades will be free of charge within this period. There is an additional one-time replacement coverage against loss or damage. It is advised that patients consult with their hearing aid provider for further information about warranties or refunds that do not fall within the 3-year period.
Is there insurance for Earlens Hearing Aids?
Usually, insurance plans or health care providers do not cover the full costs of hearing aids. It is advised to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if there is an allocated amount or allowance towards hearing aid purchases.
Hearing Aid Alternatives
Earlens Hearing Aids are the only type of hearing aids on the market that offer a different hearing experience, that is, it directly vibrates on the eardrum versus the more conventional acoustic hearing aids that use a microphone and small speaker to transmit sounds in the ear. However, this does not discount the effectiveness of other hearing aids. The Earlens hearing aid may not be a one-size-fits-all and depending on the user’s hearing loss needs it is important to consider alternatives.
What are some of the best hearing aids on the market?
Nano Hearing Aids
Nano Hearing Aids are one of the top-rated hearing aids on the market, and a popular choice among consumers because they offer an all-round, economical hearing aid. There are a variety of models to choose from including the newer Sigma Wireless. Following are some of the features of Nano Hearing Aids.
Ease of Access: Users can order their hearing aids directly from the manufacturer via the website. Additionally, the website offers numerous resources and information about their products that is easy to navigate. Nano provides complete transparency on their website, there is information covering the important aspects of purchasing and using a hearing aid, especially pricing and warranties.
Variety of Choice: There are different types and models available, for example, Behind-the-Ear (BTE) and In-the Ear (ITE). These are suited to varying levels of hearing loss.
Bluetooth Connectivity: Users can connect their smartphones to their hearing aids, which comes with options to stream music or television and adjust various program and volume settings.
Rechargeability: The Nano X2 comes with a rechargeable battery case. Nano also offers a free six pack with every six-pack of batteries bought.
Guarantees and Protection Plans: Users can get their money back after 45 days of purchasing their hearing aids. Purchasing the Protection Plan will offer a yearly coverage in the event of damage or loss.
Affordability: A distinguishing factor is Nano’s affordable hearing aids compared to other hearing aids on the market. It makes quality hearing aids available for more patients who need it and can’t always afford it or don’t have health insurance to cover the additional costs. Nano hearing aids range from $397 to $1,497 per pair.
Costco Hearing Aids
Costco is a popular US retailer, also specializing in hearing aid sales. They offer different brands and models including their house brand, the Kirkland 9.0. Some of the features from Costco are as follows.
Availability: Due to widespread Costco stores there is always an availability when users need it.
Affordability: Costco hearing aids can range from $1000 to $1,500 per pair.
Warranties: To ensure losses or damages, Costco offers free warranties.
Free Services: There are free in-store screenings available by hearing aid specialists, including free cleaning services.
Hearing Aid Scams
There are different hearing aid scams to be aware of, these include poor quality hearing aids, specifically imported hearing aid devices that act as sound amplifiers, but do not offer genuine hearing loss support. These devices are often very affordable, which is another factor to consider before purchasing a hearing aid. All hearing aid purchases need to come with a minimum 30-day free trial period, as well as a warranty to safeguard the use of a hearing aid and the user’s investment in it. Additionally, if the purchase of a hearing aid is rushed it is often an indicator of a scam, all hearing aid sales professionals will be patient while the user finds the perfect hearing aid to support their needs.
Earlens hearing aids prove to be the leader in offering alternative solutions for hearing loss. Their ear lens technology provides patients with almost natural hearing, as well as a discreet device that does not feel uncomfortable to wear. Although this is a one-of-a-kind hearing aid it might not be applicable for the majority of hearing loss patients as it requires in-person support from an ENT specialist and Audiologist, and these may not be available from all hearing aid dispensers. Additionally, with other brands offering similar quality, easily accessible, and affordable hearing aids, users with more severe and unique hearing loss needs will find Earlens a good option.
Before you buy anything, be sure to check out the reviews about NANO Digital Hearing Aids – you’ll love it!