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Spectacle Hearing Aids

There have been many advertisements featuring spectacle hearing aids. I can only imagine that they generate the interest intended as they keep re-appearing on a regular basis. In my opinion, these adverts are just another “dirty trick” to lure the unsuspecting hearing impaired person to provide their details. What makes me say this? It’s because so few people actually buy these hearing aids.

What are spectacle hearing aids? As the name suggests, they are hearing aids incorporated into a pair of spectacles. This sounds like an interesting innovation but it isn’t quite as straightforward as that. Essentially there are 2 types of spectacle hearing aids:

1)      Bone Conduction spectacle hearing aids

2)      Air conduction spectacle hearing aids

Bone conduction spectacle hearing aids. These are a specialist product that are only suitable for a small percentage of hearing impaired people. Most hearing losses are sensorineural which means that there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea) which transmits electrical signals to the brain. This includes age related “wear and tear” damage as well as that produced by exposure to loud noise etc etc. The other type of hearing loss is conductive hearing loss which is much rarer. This type of hearing loss is as a result of the sound being blocked or impeded from reaching the inner ear. This could involve the eardrum (tympanic membrane) or the tiny bones (ossicles) that convey the vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear. In this type of hearing loss we are trying to get directly to the inner ear because the pathway is malfunctioning. Bone conduction spectacles press on the mastoid bone behind the ear and the sound is transmitted by way of vibration through this bone and directly to the inner ear.

Air conduction hearing aids. These are really just ordinary behind the ear hearing aids that have been attached to spectacles. The benefit of having your hearing aids attached to your specs is questionable to say the least. The disadvantage is that if you want to take your specs off then your hearing aids have to come off as well and vice versa. If you wear different glasses for reading or sunglasses then you may have a problem.

Basically, unless you have a conductive (or mainly conductive) hearing loss then spectacle hearing aids are probably not for you. I suggest that you don’t respond to adverts like this as the person advertising is clearly aware that only very few people will actually buy these products. Perhaps they are trying to get your details to sell you something else – perish the thought.

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