Receiver-in-the-ear (RIC) hearing aids can be difficult for some users to insert into their ears. Along with mobility and dexterity limitations, the person’s fingers can slide off the receivers/tube, and the shape of some user’s ear canals can make insertion problematic. Jeffrey Szmanda, a Milwaukee-based hearing aid specialist, thinks he has a simple innovative solution for these problems.
Szmanda and his company, Each Ear LLC, has teamed up with Warner Tech-Care Products to offer Gruv Buttons™ (patent pending), a small, soft silicon cap designed to fit over the top of any RIC receiver and wire, allowing the hearing aid user to guide the RIC into the ear canal for easier and deeper hearing aid placement. The Gruv Buttons have four slots that form a square around the button’s cap and “grab” onto your fingernail, facilitating insertion of the RIC. They are designed to be retro-fitted to any RIC in about 10-minutes with a drop of adhesive provided by Each Ear, and instructions and a short online video are provided.
Not only should Gruv Buttons help alleviate the frustration some hearing aid users experience when trying to insert the RIC receivers into their ears, but they should also result in more consistently prescribed amplification due to a deeper fit and feedback reduction, due to a better seal, says Szmanda.
According to the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), about 58% of all hearing aids sold in 2015 were RIC/RITE style devices, and Szmanda estimates there are currently about 8 million of these devices in use. Thus, many people may potentially be helped with this product.
A sample kit for hearing care providers has been developed by Each Ear LLC, as well as a Gruv Button Retrofit Campaign™.
Source: Each Ear LLC.
Image credit: Each Ear LLC.
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