Monday 12 November 2012

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Unitron Max Super Power Hearing Aids Use Automatic Gain Reduction To Protect Against Over-Amplification

Posted by David Copithorne on Saturday, October 13, 2012 ·

New Unitron Max Super-Power hearing aids address one of the biggest dangers people with severe-to-profound hearing loss face — the temptation to turn up the volume to catch conversations in noisy settings to levels that can damage your hearing. Unitron Max is the first super power hearing instrument on the market with a Power Adaptation Manager that automatically moderates over-amplification while continuing to maximize speech intelligibility.
Over-amplification is a bigger concern than you might think. I find myself constantly turning up my hearing aids to follow conversations, even when the over-amplification of very noisy ambient sound bothers my ears. Worse, I’ll often forget to turn the volume down long after I need the extra boost. I’ve also been guilty of badgering my fitter for even more gain to let me tune into other people’s voices — even when I know that too much amplification can further degrade the hearing that I still do have.
In a recent survey of 200 hearing healthcare providers conducted by Unitron’s product development team, 87 percent of respondents indicated that over-amplification is a persisting issue in their practices and would welcome a means to address the potential harm it can cause to residual hearing while still meeting patient needs.
“While hearing healthcare providers recognize the need to reduce gain to maximize speech intelligibility and protect the long term hearing health of their clients with severe to profound loss, they typically face client rejection when they attempt to manually reduce gain,” Donald Hayes, Ph.D., Unitron’s Director of Audiology, said in a press release. “Power Adaptation Manager solves this challenge, by  automatically and imperceptibly reducing gain and output to safer levels,  gradually and deliberately.
It’s always gratifying when a major manufacturer makes special efforts to build high-end features into its highest power hearing aids. Super-power aids are for a much smaller market niche — consumers with severe-to-profound hearing loss who don’t  qualify for a cochlear implant but who need a lot more amplification and programming assistance — than the mass-market of consumers with age-related mild-to-moderate high-frequency hearing loss. So they often don’t get the same attention from developers and new-product mavens as the hot-selling hearing aids for mild-to-moderate loss.
Built on the next-generation Unitron Era sound processing platform, the Unitron Max super-power hearing aids provide high-end features that have been customized for the needs of users with severe hearing impairement. Unitron customized the Era “SmartFocus” feature with a unique integration of directional microphones, speech enhancement, noise reduction and gain work to optimum speech understanding without compromising awareness of ambient sounds.

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