Thursday, December 31, 2009

Swim-Proof Hearing Aids from Lyric

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.


  1. Does anyone know the cost of this service? I understand it is a subscription service.


  2. Hi Sandy, the MSNBC article quotes $1,650 per year, but I don't know if that is for a specific model.

  3. Hi Megan!

    First off, I have the dealer kit for Lyric; but I haven't trained on it yet; but I am indeed familiar with it. I was also one of the very first in the nation to dispense the Philips XP Peritympanic instrument back in 1992, so I'm familiar with the concept of the Lyric;

    Second, a severe hearing loss is already beyond what a Lyric can handle, especially since you've already probably become a "power junkie" since you've been wearing BTE's all your life, including the Oticon Epoq's you wrote about earlier. In addition, the Lyric uses an analog circuit, which would be a disappointment to you, even if you could use it.


    Do the Dr's know the cause of your hearing loss (Conexin-26, LVAS, ??…)? Since it's sinking, start to learn about what a cochlear implant can -- and cannot -- do for you, because this is where you're probably headed in the next few years if your hearing loss does not remain stable.

    [I made a mistake of not following the CI technology as it made staggering leaps in 2001 & 2004; and it wasn't until early this year when I found out how far it had advanced… After dropping my health insurance in 2007. FML.]

    Fell free to add me as a Facebook friend: Just click here.

    Dan Schwartz
    Cherry Hill, NJ

  4. I saw a feature on Dr. Oz today about Lyric. I totally agree, that I too am not all that comfortable with something being that deep inside of my ear.

    I am not ashamed of my aid at all(I only have one because my other ear wouldn't benefit). In fact it seems to be helpful in showing why I ask for a "repeat please". Though most of the time, I still need to point it out.

    I do want to know the price of the subcription...and plan to go through their consultation process. I'm not sure if its for me, but the idea of being able to sleep with it does sound cool :)

  5. Dan,

    Thanks for the comment! Yes, I figured Lyric is not for me with my hearing loss. I didn't know it was analog though! That is disappointing.

    No idea as to the cause of my loss. It's something I plan on asking at my next appointment. I'm not too enthused about a cochlear implant, though. I do hope my loss remains stable.

  6. L.J.,

    Yes, hearing aids are wonderful when people see them and make the connection with no explanation needed! And sleeping with the aid sounds cool, though I don't know if I could after years of sleeping in silence :)

  7. I wear lyrics. My hearing loss started at around age 35 in one ear eventually effecting both. I made the mistake of denying I had a problem struggling with hearing to the point of people noticing. Dr Oz's show finally pushed me to do something about it. It so happended that lyric staff was at the audiologist the day of my hearing test and trial fitting. They assured me that millions suffer from hearing loss that is left uncorrected. My fitting went fine and I am on my second set of lyrics, I love them. I havent heard the wind, birds, the ocean in so long I had forgotten about these simple pleasures. The subscription is appx 1695 per year per ear (3390 yr) I feel its worth every penny. John

  8. I am so glad to hear read this post.

  9. Rion has the HB-54 waterproof hearing aid.

  10. Glad to see this information.its very interesting.I would like to hear more information from your side.


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