Hi. I’m, Jim Cuddy. And this is Ask The Hearing Doctors. And I'm joined today by Dr. Wendy Thorne, doctor of audiology with Hearing Doctors, the Washington DC area's highest-rated audiology practice with over 1500, five-star reviews. Wendy, great to see you as always. You too.
So, extended wear hearing aids, and today, we're talking about Lyric. Tell us a little bit more about them and how do they work?
Yes, so Lyric is created by the brand name Phonak, which is one of the most, um, main manufacturers of hearing aids. It is a semi-implantable hearing aid. So, once it's in you wear it 24 hours a day. It's nice in that you don't have to worry about putting them in, taking them out, changing batteries, cleaning. It's just in your ear and it's literally zero maintenance that the patient has to worry with.
Semi-implantable, you're not doing it yourself. I, I have to go to my audiologist to have this done?
Yes, and not every audiologist does the Lyric so you do need to see a Lyric certified audiologist. Okay.
What are the benefits of of, I mean you've kind of touched on a couple of things. And I could see you've got them 24/7, how long do they last?
So, they, I recommend for my patients to come see me every, um, about 10 to 12 weeks is kind of the average. At that time that's when we would remove it and put in a new Lyric and you're good for another 10 to 12 weeks.
Who are the most likely candidates for this type of hearing aid? Because it's probably not for everybody.
Yeah, I mean really anyone who is a candidate for hearing aids may be a candidate for Lyric. There are a couple exceptions. Anyone with a lot of wax may not work very well. Anyone with high blood pressure, if they're on blood thinners, diabetes, then they're kind of considered you know they need to have medical clearance for it. Anyone that has regular MRIs. So you cannot have an MRI with this device in your ear? So there's a couple qualifications that the audiologist needs to go through to see if physically you're okay to have the Lyric device.
Now you mentioned MRIs, but X-rays and things like that or is that all right?
Those those are usually okay as long as you're not having one of those X-rays or CT scans on your head.
Um, the the patient can remove the devices themselves if they need to? Oh, they can. They can. So, I now, but if I take it out, I got to go back to you to get it put in?
Yes, you cannot put it back in.
Is it safe? I mean I would be concerned if I had to go into my ear where I have to come to you and you have to put it in, I'd kind of be scared to take it out.
Yeah, it's perfectly safe to have the patient remove it. They have a special tool that they use to remove it. The Lyric, in general, is FDA approved so it is a completely safe product. Um, as long as you're cleared medically it's fine.
Now we've talked about other hearing aids where people can have them adjusted, they can even do that, you know from from afar, you can you can do it you know with your computer. What about the Lyric hearing aid? Or is this something where you can adjust the the, uh, the volume level and that kind of thing or can the patient do it themselves?
So, the audiologist would program them. They can change those adjustments. The patient does need to be in the office for that, though. There are some minor adjustments that the patient themselves can do. So, one of the tools they'll get is a little magnet that they hold up to the Lyric device and they can change the volume with that. Or they can turn the device off. So that's nice like if you're trying to sleep and you don't want the devices on you can turn them off briefly.
So when it comes to the Lyric hearing aid you know, people with different levels of of hearing loss, are there specifics to where ooh you can't have the Lyric because your hearing loss is x? Or is anybody able to have a Lyric hearing aid?
So, really any hearing loss between a mild to moderately-severe degree, um, they can be within what we call the fitting range for a Lyric device. Which is fairly, that's a fairly significant range. Yeah. That's a pretty big area of patients as far as hearing loss that we can use with the Lyric.
And how do I go about purchasing a Lyric? I mean obviously, I have to do that through my audiologist. Yes. I would think?
Yes, so the one thing, um, that also makes Lyric a little different is that you would pay for a subscription. So, you pay for a year's worth of insertions and removals with a Lyric. Every year you would renew that subscription. Which is different than you would pay for the, you know, the hearing aids all upfront and those devices are yours.
And with Lyric, one ear, both ears, does that matter with that particular type of hearing aid?
I mean some people only have the hearing loss you know significance in one ear kind of thing. Yeah, so as long if you have hearing loss in both ears, it's best to be fit with both ears with the same product. Um, occasionally we'll have different products in different ears but that can be a very unique situation. So, it's best to aid each ear that has a hearing loss.
Okay. Uh, Lyric hearing aids I mean it's fascinating. I can't imagine. You know we always talk about people you know take your hearing aids off at night and that kind of thing. But, if I can bring a little magnet I can turn it down a little bit and and have a nice night's sleep and then turn it back up in the, in the morning. Yeah. Why not?
Yeah, these are great for someone who just does not want to deal with hearing aids at all because they really don't have to at all.
What about showers and swimming in the pool and things like that?
So, with those I do recommend that you would use earplugs to just keep the water out of the Lyric. Um, you don't want it to get too wet so wearing any sort of water plugs is going to be fine. Yeah. Okay. Great.
Again another fascinating conversation about a product that we had no idea even existed. Wendy, thank you so much. You're welcome.
If you're in the Washington metropolitan area and you'd like to schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors click the link in the description or visit hearingdoctors.com