Clinical Practice

Can a hearing aid really make you feel ‘normal’ again?

Lyric wearers describe a ‘wow’ effect and report high levels of satisfaction with their devices.

Our assumption, as audiologists, is that our patients with hearing loss will feel normal again once they start wearing amplification. We counsel them that there may be an adjustment period, that they will need to ‘get used to’ wearing their hearing aids and what they sound like, and that they be able to rejoin their world full of sound. Some audiologists measure this subjectively or anecdotally based on their patient’s feedback regarding satisfaction, while other audiologists may use standardized satisfaction measures to rate pre- and post- amplification changes.

A significant ‘wow’ effect

Anecdotal evidence collected by Lyric providers revealed that patients consistently reported feeling “normal” and described a significant “wow” effect when they experienced Lyric. In addition, the same Lyric wearers exhibited high levels of satisfaction with their devices and had fewer complaints. Once this compelling evidence was shared, Phonak realized that feeling ‘normal’ and highly satisfied after fitting may be a phenomenon unique to Lyric wearers.

Proven impact on daily life

In August 2017, Phonak partnered with one of the top Lyric providers in the US to investigate further. The study aimed to determine the qualitative impact of Lyric on a patient’s daily life compared to traditional hearing aids, using psychosocial and satisfaction measures. They specifically looked at the impact of Lyric on self-esteem, competence, and adaptability.

The results obtained in this study that, indeed, patients fit with Lyric show more positive outcomes on psychosocial measures assessing benefit than those who wear traditional daily wear hearing aids. By removing the need for manual intervention or manipulation of the hearing aid, not having to adjust their lifestyle, and not having to adjust their habits to accommodate their hearing aid, Lyric wearers experience a significant improvement in satisfaction.

This should not be surprising to any of us – and reinforces the unique opportunity and benefits Lyric provides to someone with hearing loss. The emotional impact of the benefits of Lyric cannot be overlooked.

More to come on emotional impact

This pilot study reinforced the need for more information and has kicked off further investigation into the emotional impacts of Lyric at the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC). Data collection is currently underway and we are excited to find out more about the performance and benefits of Lyric.

If you’d like to read another blog post on the psychosocial benefits of Lyric, you are welcome to read this article by Anna Biggins.

 

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