Recently, Bernafon successfully launched the Leox 7|3 Super Power and Ultra Power hearing instruments. These models have been specifically developed for hearing aid users with a severe to profound hearing loss. This group of users is very dependent on their hearing aids. They need them to perform well in challenging listening situations daily.
Typically, hearing aid users with a severe to profound hearing loss have a considerably reduced dynamic range (see the illustration below). This means, that soft and average sounds are mostly inaudible, louder sounds remain audible but not necessarily clear and very loud sounds may be uncomfortable.
"Typically, hearing aid users with a severe to profound hearing loss have a considerably reduced dynamic range."
During my practice as a hearing care professional, I realized that most hearing instrument users appreciate the fully automatic behavior of their hearing aids. However, users with severe to profound hearing loss would often prefer manual control rather than relying on the automatic behavior of their hearing aids. Since they are often very sensitive to the smallest change in volume, manual volume adjustments of their hearing aids must happen in very small steps. A minor change in gain may quickly reach uncomfortable levels and result in a large perceptual difference in what is heard by the hearing instrument user.
When Leox was being developed, Bernafon took this pattern of hearing aid use into account. Therefore, for the Leox 7|3 Super Power and Ultra Power hearing instruments, we provide a selectable volume control range. The hearing care professional can now select, in the Oasisnxt fitting software, two different volume control (VC) step sizes: 1 dB or 2.5 dB. These settings can be accessed in the “End Session” menu under “Controls”.
Bernafon recommends the following:
- For users with a reduced dynamic range:
The VC step size of 1 dB offers a volume control range of up to 20 dB: 10 dB to decrease and 10 dB to increase the volume. The default volume control range in Oasisnxt for this 1 dB step size is 10 dB: 5 dB to decrease and 5 dB to increase the volume. If the maximum gain in the instrument is not enough to provide the entire volume control range, a message will appear in Oasisnxt alerting the hearing care professional to this fact.
- For users with a wider dynamic range:
For users with a greater dynamic range, the VC step size of 2.5 dB can be selected. This option provides a volume control range of up to 30 dB as a default: 20 dB to decrease and 10 dB to increase the volume. The same alert, as described above, regarding the maximum gain in the instrument will appear if needed.
You can find both settings under “Controls” in the “End Session” menu. This feature is available in Oasisnxt 2019.2 onwards. This great option offers the hearing care professional more flexibility to personalize Leox hearing instruments to meet the needs of their customers.
During my years in clinical practice, I found that better management of the volume control can create more comfort over the day for those individuals with a severe to profound hearing loss. I also found that these hearing aid users often felt more confident in managing difficult sound environments and challenging situations when given a manual volume control.
The hearing aid user can conveniently adjust the volume control by means of the EasyControl-A app. This app is available for Bernafon hearing instruments with 2.4 GHz wireless technology and for smartphones with Bluetooth® technology from 2010 onwards. For compatibility please check our website here. If the customer prefers not to use the EasyControl-A app then the volume can also be adjusted via the remote control, the SoundClip-A, or simply with the push buttons on the hearing instrument.
For more information about Bernafon’s newest Super Power and Ultra Power hearing instruments, please go to https://www.bernafon.com/products/leox