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Anna Biggins
Senior Audiology ManagerPhonak
Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.

Ask Anna: My grandfather won’t wear his hearing aids

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.   

Dear Anna,

My Grandfather is in his 80’s and has severe, age-related hearing loss in both ears. My aunt got him a hearing aid but it wasn’t the expensive one the Audiologist recommended (still pretty expensive, though) and frankly the results have been disappointing. There seems to be too much interference and he’s been unwilling to use them.

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Ask Anna: Can children wear in-the-ear hearing aids?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.   

Dear Anna,

My son was recently diagnosed with hearing loss, and we are looking what hearing aid would be best for him. I prefer the small, in-the-ear hearing aids, but our audiologist is encouraging the larger hearing aids that go behind his ear. Can children wear in-the-ear hearing aids? What are the benefits and disadvantages of behind-the-ear hearing aids for children?  – Lewis in California  

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Ask Anna: Why do my hearing aids squeal when I’m on the phone?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.   

Dear Anna,

Hi, I purchased the Phonak Audéo BR rechargeable hearing aids in December and for the most part I am extremely pleased with them. Lately, however when I’m in meetings at work and there is a someone on a conference call, my hearing aids begin to put out a high pitch squeal. This has happened on more than one occasion and is very embarrassing. I usually have to take them out to stop the noise feedback. Is there something I can do with them to change this or us this just something I need to live with? – Lewis, “Working with hearing loss” in Atlanta 

Posted in Blog Z-Products

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3 Hearing Challenges Solved with Titanium Hearing Aids

Choosing your first hearing aid can be overwhelming, as there are many factors that go into this decision – both for your personal preference and your hearing needs. What makes it more confusing is that many hearing aids look the same on the outside.  

In-the-ear hearing aids (small hearing devices that sit inside the ear canal and do not wrap around the ear – also known as behind-the-ear or BTE hearing aids) are generally preferred by first time users. While ITEs  have similar sound quality and performance to BTEs, they also have some challenges; they are not always as small as people would like, due to the natural properties of the standard shell material (acrylic) they can break, and they are not always comfortable.

Phonak has been working to identify a solution to these issues, and a new shell material, titanium (yes, the metal) has been discovered as the answer.

But how can a titanium hearing aid solve the most problematic and longest running issues related to in-the-ear devices?

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Ask Anna: Do small hearing aids work for severe hearing loss?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.   

Dear Anna,

“I have severe-to-profound hearing loss and currently wear a hearing aid that goes behind my ear. I would like something a bit smaller. Are there any in-the-ear  hearing aids that are suitable for severe-profound hearing loss? Which is the most powerful?” – Charles in Dallas

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Ask Anna: Do new hearing aids whistle?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna,

Sometimes when I cup my hand over my hearing aids I hear a whistling sound. Is this supposed to happen? It doesn’t bother me when I’m wearing them, but I wonder if other people also hear it. Why does a hearing aid squeal? Do new hearing aids whistle? – Susan in California

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Ask Anna: What’s the difference between a PSAP and Hearing Aid?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.   

Dear Anna,

My father has a difficult time communicating with his friends and family. He watches TV with the volume too loud, and we always have to repeat things we say to him. His doctor has told him that he has hearing loss from his work in a factory, but he cannot afford hearing aids. I’ve heard that “hunting aids” or Personal Sound Amplification Products can be bought over-the-counter and for less money. Do these work for people with hearing loss? What is the difference between a PSAP and Hearing Aid? – James in Michigan

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Ask Anna: Will hearing aids help my Hyperacusis?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna,

I have Hyperacusis and I can’t tolerate loud sounds, such as when people talking loud, dogs barking, dishes, etc. Will hearing aids help my Hyperacusis? Will I be able to hear when people talk but still tolerate my surrounding? – Aaron in Nashville 

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Ask Anna: Does my hearing aid have a Telecoil?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community.

Dear Anna,

I’ve seen signs around my community – like at the train station and the theater – about Hearing Loops. It would be great to activate this feature on my hearing aids, and have announcements streamed to my hearing aids. Does my hearing aid have a Telecoil? How do I know if my hearing aid has a T-coil?

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