Smart Hearing Thanks National Inventor’s Day

Let us pause today to thank Jack Kilby.


Mr. Kilby filed for a patent on February 6, 1959. His thought was that he could integrate the elements of a circuit on as few materials as possible. Mr. Kilby’s invention, the integrated circuit, was the beginning of electronics as we now know it. ReSound’s Smart Hearing aids owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Kilby and his colleague Robert Noyce. We remember these particular two on National Inventor’s day (February 11), since without the integrated circuit there would be no Smart Hearing as ReSound has known and practiced it.

The integrated circuit, along with ongoing miniaturization, allows for hearing aids that are all but invisible. ReSound’s Smart Hearing aids help triangulate sound so someone with hearing loss can know which direction the sound is coming from.  They also include binaural directionality that helps ensure you can understand every word of a conversation by supporting your brain’s natural ability to process sounds.

Remarkable steps forward in hearing have come from the work of Kilby and Noyce.

We tip our hat to them.

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3 Myths that Keep You from Better Hearing

There are always a lot of reasons we don’t take action. Sometimes we delay taking action because of myths we have believed. Hearing loss has its own set myths. Don’t let these myths keep you from seeking hearing help in 2016.


  1. “Hearing aids don’t work.” Maybe you grew up with a grandparent with hearing loss. Maybe that grandparent wore a hearing aid that didn’t help them hear much better, or perhaps your grandparent constantly adjusted the volume. Ever-changing technology has transformed our hearing solutions. For ReSound, the current generation of hearing aids are far more effective and far easier to use. Just ask hearing aid wearers Maureen O’Shea and Rick Ledbetter.
  2. “Hearing aids make me look old.” First, today’s hearing aids range from sleek behind-the-ear to invisible-in-the-canal designs. And adjusting many of those hearing aids is as simple and transparent as picking up your smart phone and using an app to change settings. Second, is it a hearing aid that makes a person look old or is it asking for words to be repeated? We should all use whatever tools we can to remain engaged with those around us.
  3. “Any hearing loss I might have is just a natural part of aging,” Not so fast—aging does not in itself mean hearing loss. While genetics certainly come into play, an arguably larger role may be played by the cumulative effects of years of dangerous decibels. And that is something we can and should take action on with hearing protection.

The great news is that there are actual facts behind our innovative hearing solutions which can help you get back to hearing.

It’s not too late to start 2016 with better hearing.

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Groundhog Day and Keeping Connections

In the end, it’s our connections that count.

Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) learned this in the 1993 film Groundhog Day. Some say Phil Connors must have spent more than 10 years reliving February 2. We know Phil became observant enough to catch a kid falling from a tree. And he developed an ear for music that let him jump into a jazz band and, of course, woo Rita (Andie MacDowell). In the end he came to appreciate the sounds and conversations of everyday life.

Phil learned the importance of connections, which appears to have saved to save him from decades spent reliving February 2.

Our primary connections come through hearing and talking—something we experience everyday but may take for granted. Hearing loss has the capacity to isolate because it hinders those connections. And since hearing loss is largely invisible, the lack of connection can be hard to identify, which only adds to the sense of isolation. While social media also help make connections, it is the people we encounter in real life that have the biggest impact.

Don’t jeopardize your vital connections by not paying attention to your hearing. Making small adjustments, like limiting your time using headphones or earbuds, can make a big difference over time.

Make maintaining your everyday connections a priority.

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3 Ways to Support Friends and Family with Hearing Loss

Now that the new year is well underway, give a thought to those friends living with hearing loss. Hearing loss is largely invisible, easily misunderstood and quickly forgotten by others. Maybe 2016 is the year you make it easier for those friends. Here are three simple things you can do to help the people around you who live with hearing loss

#1—Consciously Turn Toward Your Friend When Speaking

Turning toward your conversation partner is a visible communication cue that actually works well for those with and without hearing loss. Turning toward the person you are speaking to lets them see you form words with your mouth as you also signal your intentions with your eyes, face and posture. Turning toward someone when speaking also communicates their value and the importance of the communication.

iStock_000064985905_Large#2—Choose Quieter Outings

Restaurants are notoriously loud. They are loud because the chatter, clatter and music seem to create a cheery vibe. But noisy restaurants can be difficult for those with hearing loss. Finding quieter venues is a first step when planning an outing with a friend with hearing loss. There may also be quieter places even in noisy restaurants: places with more sound-absorbing fabrics and less reflective surfaces. Your friend will appreciate your help in keeping them in the conversation.

#3—Stay In Conversation

Those with hearing loss can feel isolated at times. There are stresses and strains with not hearing clearly, and lots of mental activity with trying to catch words that sound less than clear. Sometimes the easiest route is to not interact at all. Be the friend who works to include them in conversations and encourages them to participate when they’re comfortable.

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Reset Your 2016 Hearing Expectations

Many of us take our hearing for granted. We assume we’ll always hear what we need to. But what happens when we start to notice hearing loss? That loss has the potential to change everything. At ReSound, we are committed to helping others rediscover hearing, which means building an appreciation for hearing at every stage of life. Here are three expectations we hope you will consider as your think about your hearing this year.

Get an AttitudeiStock_000062240432_Large

To assume your hearing will continue as it always has can be dangerous—that assumption lulls us into ignoring our hearing. Rather than expecting that your hearing will remain as it is, change your attitude to accept that you need to take care of your hearing—just like you do the rest of your body. Our ability to hear well is not necessarily linked with aging—it is also a matter of the way we treat our ears early in life.

Test Early and Often

With your hearing, no news is not always good news. It is better to know how your hearing is doing than to not know. Testing your hearing helps you get ready to take steps when you need to. But also helps you understand the things you can do right now to keep those hearing loss symptoms at bay. The sooner you identify potential hearing problems, the more tools and resources you have to find the best hearing solutions. Click here to find a hearing care professional near you!

Protect Your Ears

One clear step to take in 2016 is to protect your hearing. That means wearing ear protection when decibels get above 85. Or stepping away from loud situations. Hearing loss can be a cumulative effect, so the more you expose your ears to loud noises over time, the more likely you are to find your hearing threatened.

Resolve for 2016 to be a healthy hearing year!

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Dan Parrilli does not recommend waiting 50 years for a hearing aid

Turning on his hearing aid for the first time was “literally a moment in time that I will never forget,” said Dan Parrilli. To understand where Dan is coming from, it helps to know that Dan has lived with hearing loss since grade school—in the mid-1950s.

What Have I Been Missing?DanParrilliActionShot-2-20151222

Back in grade school, “conversation was not a problem,” said Dan, and so a childhood hearing loss diagnosis was ignored. A few years later, in 1968, Dan received a draft notice. But after two hearing tests, the draft board declared him “1Y” – available for military service, but qualified only in the event of war or national emergency. When he wasn’t sent to Vietnam because of his hearing loss, a mystified recruiter asked him, “Why don’t you wear hearing aids?”

Dan knew he had hearing loss, but coped with it instead of seeking treatment. He asked people to repeat themselves and asked others what was being said. He made do, but didn’t have any sense that he might be missing something. And since older hearing aids seemed to have a hit or miss quality to them, Dan simply didn’t take the matter any further.

Recently Dan brought his aging mother to have a hearing test. While there, the hearing care professional pointed out the connection between untreated hearing loss and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dan didn’t think much of it until a few days later when he read the same thing in a national newspaper. Knowing Alzheimer’s disease ran in his family, he thought, “This may be the time.”

So Dan had his own hearing tested—more than 50 years after his childhood diagnosis. He had hearing loss in both ears and could not hear high frequencies. Dan’s hearing care professional fitted him with ReSound LiNX2.

When Dan turned on his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids, for the first time he heard everything. Dan had never heard birds chirping. He did not know there was a background sound to the television. All his life he had not been able to distinguish between the spoken “15” and “16,” he was constantly asking his wife “one dash five or one dash six?”

Technology Forward

Today Dan could not be more pleased with his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids. Besides hearing sounds for the very first time, some situations, such as going to a restaurant, stood out as totally different.

“Your brain hears the clatter of plates in back and says, ‘I don’t need to hear that.’” said Dan. “But my brain said, ‘Hey, listen to that new sound!’” Which at first was very distracting.  But with ReSound LiNX2, he can diminish those distracting sounds with a touch of his iPhone.  Dan typically uses the four programs his hearing care professional set for him and can switch between them through the ReSound Smart app. He also makes use of Apple’s “Live Listen” setting on his iPhone to capture conversations in the middle of the table and direct them to his hearing aid. He also likes the ability find his hearing aids if he misplaces or loses them.

Having the ReSound LiNX2 has been a life-changing experience, according to Dan, who offered this final bit of wisdom: “You don’t know what you’re missing until you find out what you’ve missed.”

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Helping Those With Usher Syndrome Hear

21-year-old Molly Watt, a motivational speaker from the UK, and 32-year-old Michael Howard, an electrical engineer from Virginia, may not appear to have much in common. But Molly and Michael share one thing: both live with Usher Syndrome – a rare genetic condition that causes hearing and vision loss.

Recently, both Molly and Michael were fit with ReSound LiNX2™ hearing aids to help address their hearing loss. Both have been blown away by how the top-rated sound quality and easy personalization offered by ReSound Smart Hearing has changed their lives.

Molly Watt

Molly Watt

Molly has been wearing hearing aids since she was 18 months old, but when her vision began to decline at the age of 12, her hearing aids became much more important. With her previous hearing aids, Molly experienced something that many hearing aid wearers can relate to – the devices only amplified the sounds around her, which left conversation in crowded environments difficult and localization of sounds nearly impossible.

Since being fit with ReSound LiNX2 in May, Molly has experienced hearing like she never has before. For the first time, she can tell if sounds are behind or next to her, supporting her safety in busy environments. While phone conversations were previously out of the question, the direct streaming of calls to her hearing aids allows Molly to stay better connected to friends and family. The power of ReSound’s Smart Hearing solutions has given her an unprecedented level of confidence – so much so that she feels comfortable traveling to London alone to meet friends. On her blog, Molly regularly details how the ReSound Smart™ app and her ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids make living with Usher Syndrome easier.

Michael Howard

Michael Howard

Michael was also first fit with his ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids in May. Due to his Usher Syndrome, Michael has worn hearing aids since he was three, but before ReSound LiNX2 they were bulky, required an intermediary device for streaming, and left gaps in what Michael could hear. Between the convenience of the ReSound Smart app on his iPhone and Apple Watch and the amazing sound quality of his ReSound LiNX2 devices, Michael says he could never go back to his old hearing aids. Recently, Michael shared how his life has changed as a result of ReSound’s Smart Hearing solutions with Virginia-based newspaper The Daily Press.

As the leader in Smart Hearing technology, ReSound continues to push the envelope for what is available for people with hearing loss, allowing them to experience the world with a level of freedom and independence that was previously impossible. We are thrilled to be able to give Molly, Michael, and millions of other people worldwide the gift of effortless hearing.

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