How ActiveVent™ Receiver can help your clients who use stethoscopes

It can be challenging to use a stethoscope when you have a hearing loss; hearing aids with ActiveVent Receiver can help.

Do you have clients in the medical profession?

Clients who perform auscultation as part of their daily work often find it difficult choosing a stethoscope that works best with their hearing aids. The challenge with auscultation and hearing loss is that heart and lung signals are very soft, low frequency sounds. These signals mostly fall below 1000 Hz.1,2

Now let’s imagine you have an existing client named Dr. Sandra Smith, a general practitioner who works in a hospital setting. Dr. Smith has mild to moderate hearing loss with good low frequency hearing sloping to a high frequency hearing loss. She wears Phonak Audéo™ Paradise rechargeable hearing aids with vented domes.

Dr. Smith struggles to hear her patients when the workplace gets noisy, making it a difficult communication environment. She also regularly performs auscultation and finds it a hassle to constantly remove her hearing aids every time she puts her stethoscope on.

ActiveVent Receiver can help Dr. Smith … and others

Based on Dr. Smith’s listening concerns, the audiologist determines the following additional information from Dr. Smith:

  • Communicates well with her hearing aids on in quieter environments.
  • Frequently uses Bluetooth connectivity to stream music and hands-free phone calls to her hearing aids.
  • Her stethoscope offers configuration options to allow streaming auscultation signals to her hearing aids.
  • Ears are free of excess moisture and cerumen.
  • No reports of problematic tinnitus nor hyperacusis.

The audiologist previously considered switching from a vented dome to a more occluded earpiece to help with speech understanding. However, the audiologist knew Dr. Smith would experience issues with occlusion and own voice sound quality, and adjusting for this in Phonak Target, will have minimal to no effect. 

​This is the conundrum that audiologists face on a daily basis – how to find the right balance between comfort and hearing performance. ActiveVent Receiver, the world’s first intelligent hearing aid receiver, can help solve this common problem.

ActiveVent is the first receiver with a mechanical vent that can be steered to open or closed based on the classified sound environment or signal. It has a two-state vent​. In one position it creates open vent acoustics and in the other position it closes off the vent, creating closed acoustics.​

​The combination of a Paradise rechargeable RIC hearing aid and an ActiveVent Receiver means that clients, like Dr. Smith, can have an open fitting​ when they want and a closed fitting when they need it.

The audiologist determined Dr. Smith is a candidate for ActiveVent Receiver.

How ActiveVent Receiver works in noisy environments

ActiveVent is driven by AutoSense OS™ 4.0, which automatically changes the vent from open to closed based on the detected environment of the wearer.

When the vent is closed, there is no direct sound in noisy environments. This means when the vent is closed, direct sound such as background noise, is not able to enter. This can be beneficial for Dr. Smith when communicating with her patients during those busier times in the hospital.

When the vent is open, direct sound can enter and the hearing aid provides minimal low frequency energy amplification. This leads to natural sound quality, reduces occlusion, and aids in localization.3 This can benefit Dr. Smith when she is communicating in environments with reduced sources of noise.

In addition, the audiologist can create a manual noise program in Phonak Target where ActiveVent can be set to either open or closed. The option of a manual program can provide Dr. Smith additional flexibility in choosing her setting as noisy environments can greatly vary from each other.

Stay tuned for my next article in which I discuss ActiveVent Receiver and streaming with stethoscopes.

References

  1. Abrams J. (1987). Essentials of Cardiac Physical Diagnosis. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
  2. Gross, V., Dittmar, A., Penzel, T., Schüttler, F., & von Wichert, P. (2000). The relationship between normal lung sounds, age, and gender. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine162(3), 905–909. https://doi.org/10.1164/ajrccm.162.3.9905104
  3. Winkler, A., Latzel, M., & Holube, I. (2016). Open versus closed hearing aid fittings: A literature review of both fitting approaches. Trends in Hearing, 20, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/2331216516631741

Disclaimer: The information provided is a general recommendation only. Phonak does not warrant, endorse, guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy or reliability for any information offered within this presentation. The use of any information contained within this presentation is solely at your own risk.

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