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Swim-Proof Hearing Aids from Lyric

Posted Dec 31 2009 12:48pm
At my audiologist's office, in his small "store" of hearing aid-related accessories and gadgets, he's set up a constant movie playing extoling the virtues of Lyric hearing aids. The "extended-wear" aids sit only 4 millimeters from the wearer's eardrum and are replaced as the battery dies, after about 120 days. You pay a yearly subscription fee for the devices.

Lyric is marketed towards older people. Heck, most hearing aids are, but Lyric is for those people who don't want anybody to know they've got a hearing loss but don't want to be the grumpy old guy in the corner saying "What? What?!" all the time. I'm not going to lie, Lyric is definitely not for me. I am not an old person, yet, and the idea of something jammed so far up my ear is pretty ooky to me. Not to mention, I personally wouldn't want to risk the battery dying at an inopportune time and having to schedule an appointment just to be able to hear again.

Anyway, there's an article on MSNBC today about how Lyric is developing a waterproof hearing aid. I'll admit my first thought was: What? They don't do that already? How do they expect people with Lyric aids to shower? But I figure the aid must already be pretty tough on moisture to handle being so far in the ear, with sweat and gunk accumulating around it, and I am sure they do not want wearers to go three months between showers. MSNBC says they are doing "stronger" coatings so that wearers could swim three times a week.

I love swimming, or just relaxing in the pool, but one of the frustrating things is that I can't hear what's going on. I can't follow a conversation, unless the other person is speaking directly to me, nor am I aware of any dangers or if people are trying to get my attention. So a swim-proof aid would be pretty cool, though I know I would be initially reluctant to get in. I won't be using Lyric for the purpose, but maybe it being available will help other manufacturers become aware of how cool swim-proof aids in general would be.
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