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Heavy-Duty Hearing Aids: Vibrant Adults Need Durable Hearing Aids to Stay Active

Todays adult hearing aid wearer is active, on the go and fully engaged in life. Thanks to improvements in our overall health care, 80 is the new 60, and there are plenty of people in their 80s living rich, full lives. You dont have to look far to find them boating, hiking or running the local 5K.

Problem is, up until now, some of these hearing impaired activists had problems finding hearing instruments that could stand up to the demands of todays active lifestyles. Sweat from working in the garden, moisture from the elements even high humidity could cause a hearing aid to malfunction or stop working altogether. Very inconvenient. Especially when mountain biking or playing 18 holes on a humid afternoon.

Lightweight, Heavy-Duty Hearing Aids

Recognizing the need for more durable, reliable devices, the hearing aid industry has taken steps to protect their product lines from moisture, debris and even micro-particles that can penetrate a hearing aids protective case causing corrosion, circuitry malfunction and eventual (and inevitable) breakdown.

One example of this industry trend toward small, lightweight devices comes from Siemens, a major manufacturer of quality hearing devices worldwide. Siemens has introduced CENTRA Active with its proprietary AquaProtect' system a full array of innovations designed to protect these sensitive, digital devices under the most rigorous conditions.

According to Brande Barker, Siemens North American Product Requirements Manager, the AquaProtect system is made up of three distinct elements.

According to Barker, these elements include, a clip-on microphone cover that uses a GORE' [ever hear of Gore Tex?] membrane to protect against perspiration, grit, grime, dust and dirt.

The second element of Siemens AquaProtect system is CENTRA Actives housing, which employs nanocoating (a special manufacturing process) to prevent moisture from seeping into the device itself. According to Siemens, this nanocoating functions in a similar manner as car wax. Moisture beads up and rolls off the instrument before it can do any damage to internal circuitry.

Barker then explained the third element of the AquaProtect system. The CENTRA Active dome has an integrated C-Guard' wax protection system, a thin membrane that protects the receiver from the effects of moisture and cerumen (ear wax). This C-Guard membrane can be replaced easily by the wearer when needed. Together, these features result in hearing instruments that are durable, water resistant and ideal for active adults with hearing impairments.

Other Improvements

The days of large, unattractive hearing aids are long gone. Todays devices are modern marvels of digital circuitry, automated for ease of use, and utilize small, sleek designs. These microcomputers are designed and programmed specifically to take the hassles out of hearing instrument use. Thats what todays busy individuals want. Better hearing. Fewer headaches.

Many hearing aids today, including Siemens CENTRA Active, employ rechargeable batteries, eliminating the fumbling and eye strain that used to result when changing small hearing aid batteries. Barker explained, Simply place the CENTRA Active instruments in the charger when you go to bed and they work for a full day and evening of busy activity without worry. How great is that?

One significant improvement in todays hearing aid technology that is exclusive to Siemens, (including CENTRA Active), helps to reduce distracting impulse background (transient) noise. We call it SoundSmoothing' because it reduces annoying transient sounds clicks, rustling and other distracting noise while leaving the speech signal intact, Barker explained.

And believe it or not, these tiny instruments actually learn each wearers hearing preferences in a variety of sound environments. This eliminates the constant fiddling with a device to adjust sound levels for comfort. Its just not needed anymore. The device does it for you.

If the wearer makes manual adjustments regularly, Siemens explained, after four or five days, the system learns the volume preferences of the user and makes the adjustments automatically. How convenient.

The latest in hearing technology, from Siemens and other manufacturers of high-quality devices, automatically reduces or eliminates annoying feedback and reduces distracting noises, enhancing hearing quality and comfort.

And microphone directionality, found in many of todays advanced devices, increases the wearers ability to focus on a particular conversation without picking up chit-chat from behind them. In addition, Barker explained that CENTRA Actives open ear receiver-in-canal (RIC) design is, very convenient, comfortable and the quality of sound is natural without the plugged up feeling sometimes associated with more closed hearing instruments. You hear better because the device automatically handles most sound management tasks. You just put the instruments in and go. Hey, this is sounding better and better!

Siemens AquaProtect system

CENTRA Active also comes with an optional pocket remote control (ePocket') that allows wearers to make adjustments on the run and receive instrument status information at the same time. Easy. Convenient. And discreet. Information provided by the optional ePocket remote include, battery level, volume control and listening program settings.

Clearly, Siemens is preparing for the next generation of hearing instrument wearers who are going to remain very active as long as theyre able. The companys CENTRA Active, with open-ear comfort and natural sound, coupled with protection of the delicate digital circuitry, is an ideal choice for adults who arent ready for the old folks home. Theyre ready to take up rock climbing and Siemens CENTRA Active is ready to deliver the durability and comfort these dynamic, on-the-go users demand.

Visit www.usa.siemens.com/hearing for more information.

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