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Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat now offering Earlens - a new class of hearing technology

Playing it by ear for the holidaysFamily gatherings during the holidays can be a logistics nightmare for someone who struggles with hearing loss. Missing words, not hearing complete sentences because of background noise or being unable to distinguish ambient sounds can take the fun out of any party. If you can’t hear well, there’s no good place to sit, stand or converse. And crowded settings make matters worse.

Hearing loss affects one in eight people and approximately 37.5 million American adults according to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Hearing aids can help those who don’t hear well, but sometimes that is not enough. Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat is now offering patients Earlens, a new lens-based technology that addresses the need for better sound.

“The number one complaint from those wearing hearing aids is clarity – being able to hear and understand,” says Dr. Kenneth Scott, a physician at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat. “Though conventional hearing aids have come a long way, there still remains the problem with the speaker. Speakers in hearing aids are tiny. They have to be because the ear canal is small. But Earlens has no speaker.”
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Developed in 2017, Dr. Scott describes Earlens as “truly novel technology” and a “big leap” for sound quality.

“It’s not an implant and not a conventional hearing aid,” he explains. “It’s a lens-based technology. The lens, which can be compared to a soft contact, is placed on the eardrum.”

Simply explained, the FDA-approved device is made up of three parts: a processor; an ear tip; and a lens. The three work in conjunction with one another. The processor, which rests on the outer-ear, captures the sound; the ear tip converts the sound and then sends a signal to the lens; the lens, which has been non-surgically placed deeply inside the ear canal on the eardrum, then vibrates the eardrum naturally activating the hearing mechanism.

Earlens offers almost three times the pitch range of a conventional hearing aid. Besides better sound clarity, it filters background noise. Music and phone calls sound better and, best of all, you hear and understand others, which is so important during the holidays with family and friends!

Dr. Scott recommends those who wear conventional hearing devices owe it to themselves to be educated with this new technology and see if they can benefit. Earlens is only available from an ENT practice, so patients who choose it have two-fold medical expertise as an audiologist and an ENT physician work together to properly customize the device from fitting to programming.

Using a simulator, the professionals at Midwest ENT can demo Earlens in their offices. “You can actually “hear” how the device works,” says Dr. Scott. “We will determine if you are a good candidate or suggest what is best for you.”

Finding a solution that leads to better hearing could be the best gift you ever give yourself for the holidays.

By: Virginia Olson - Sioux Falls Woman Magazine

Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat
2315 West 57th Street  •  Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108  •  605-336-3503  •  Toll-free 888-336-3503  •  Fax 605-336-6010