Tinnitus & Lyric Hearing Aids

Phonak Lyric For Tinnitus - But Is The Best Hearing Aid Tinnitus Solution?

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Liverpool Hearing Centre is the only hearing centre in the Merseyside region accredited to provide Phonak Lyric. We'd like to inform you why we like Phonak Lyric as a hearing aid to help with tinnitus. If you want to stay up to date on the latest news in the world of hearing technology, sign up for our newsletter and you'll be notified whenever we publish a new article.

Phonak Lyric Hearing Aids For Tinnitus Are Too Often Overlooked,

If you're unfamiliar with Lyric Hearing Aids, they're essentially disposable hearing aids that many people equate to disposable contact lenses. You have these hearing aids that go into your ear and last about three months. The batteries die after a few months, and the Lyrics must be removed and replaced.


Even if you haven't heard of the Lyric, they have been around for a number of years and have been a very successful product for many patients. They are frequently the hearing aids of choice for individuals who are very concerned with total invisibility, so they were looking for the most cosmetically appealing option but didn't want anyone else to know that they had a hearing loss because of their lifestyle or perhaps their career.


The Lyric is ideal for this because it is a hearing aid that fits completely inside the ear canal and is also very comfortable, so they should not be felt inside their ears. Essentially, the first time the Lyric is placed in your ear, you will feel and notice it, but after a few minutes, you should completely forget about it and not even remember that it is in your ear.


Comfort has long been regarded as a key feature of Lyric hearing aids. They've created four different versions of it, and we're currently on the fourth. With each new version, they release slightly different features that help address issues like comfort and durability.


They have a fitting range from extra extra small ear canals to extra extra large ear canals, so it truly fits most people's ear size-wise, and getting fit for the Lyric is a really interesting process. To determine whether your ear canal can actually fit with one of the Lyric sizes, you must have measurements taken of both the length and circumference of your ear canal. It also aids in determining the proper depth of insertion, as one of the reasons Lyric provides such excellent sound quality is that it is placed relatively close to the ear drum. As a result, we must measure the overall ear canal depth to determine how far away from the eardrum it should be placed.


After you've been measured, you can usually have a sample device, which is similar to a dummy device that your audiologist inserts into your ear, to determine if the fit creates a good seal around the ear canal and if you feel comfortable with it.


After you've been "sized," you can be fitted with an actual device. One significant difference between the Lyric and more traditional hearing aids is that you must purchase a subscription. Traditional hearing aids are usually purchased outright. You may be able to get financing for them, but you basically buy them outright. Because Lyric Hearing Aids are disposable, you must purchase an annual subscription, which includes an essentially unlimited number of Lyric replacements. Sometimes they just die on their own, and other times you'll need to have them replaced or removed, so for example, if you need an MRI, the Lyric will have to be removed from your ear.


Actually, there is a long list of different candidature requirements to determine whether or not a person can truly benefit from the Lyric. Individuals on blood thinners, for example, are usually not good candidates and should avoid using the Lyric. The skin inside the ear canal is very thin and delicate, and the Lyric has to stay in place for several months so it can begin to break down some of the skin in the ear canal, and if someone is on a blood thinner, that means they will bleed very easily and their blood will coagulate much more slowly. Individuals who have had radiation to their head, neck, or ear are also unsuitable because it can alter the skin's integrity.


Individuals may be able to remove and insert the Lyric on their own with the most recent version of Lyric; otherwise, they will need to return to their audiologist to have the Lyric replaced, which may be inconvenient. Lyric is probably not the best option for someone who lives a long distance away from their audiologist because the devices can die unexpectedly and require an emergency replacement. You don't want to go too long without hearing.


Lyric is not a suitable hearing aid for people who have a more severe hearing loss. It is best suited for people who have a moderate to severe hearing loss rather than a severe to profound hearing loss. They should try a traditional hearing aid with much more power and amplification.


Because the Lyric Hearing Aid is inserted only four millimetres from the eardrum, it uses the natural ear canal acoustics of your ear canal to help enhance overall sound quality, and many people believe they have a more natural sound quality than some digital hearing aids. Individual patient preferences, however, vary greatly. Some clients who we fit with the Lyric right away dislike the sound quality, while others immediately say that it sounds great - I like how my voice sounds, it's not really boomy and loud, and it's very comfortable.


The trial period is critical, and most patients know right away whether or not the Lyric is a good option for them. With traditional hearing aids, you may want to use them for a few days or weeks to really help adjust to the sound quality, fit, and feel of the hearing aids, but with Lyric, you really know within a day if it's for you, and then you can start looking at more traditional hearing aids if necessary.


Another really nice feature of Lyric is that it is in your ear 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can sleep with them, shower with them, and even swim with them in your ears if you want to, but it is recommended that you have custom swim plugs made so you don't get water logged devices.


You can also adjust the volume of the Lyric on your own using a small magnetic wand that you insert or hold close to your ear canal to help raise or lower the volume. You can actually turn off your Lyrics completely, making them almost act as a noise plug, and you can also put it into sleep mode, which reduces the level of amplification but still allows you to hear.


The magnetic wand is also used to help you take the Lyric out of your ear, so it's a multi-function tool that gives you extra control over the device, which some patients appreciate. Others are more hands-off, making no adjustments and completely forgetting they're there until the batteries run out or they need to be replaced.


A lot of patients also like the Lyric because, because it is inserted deeply into your ear, you can still use your traditional earphones or air pods headphones and it is not affected by the use of hearing aids that are more superficial or on top of your ear. Doctors who use stethoscopes can hear through their stethoscopes. Lyric allows them to compensate for their hearing loss while still performing their job duties normally.


A trial is the only way to determine whether or not Lyric is a good option for someone with tinnitus. We have definitely fitted several tinnitus patients, and some of them immediately notice that their tinnitus really subsided or disappeared once the Lyrics were fitted, while others didn't notice much of a difference. They could all hear better, though!


One theory for why people get tinnitus is that they have some degree of hearing loss, and the brain is self-stimulating at frequencies that they can no longer hear and are not receiving from their surroundings, so if you can hear better and get more input from your environment, your brain may tone down the tinnitus. That is also the case with traditional hearing aids, but one of the primary differences between the Lyric and a traditional digital hearing aid is that the Lyric is not removed at night, allowing the tinnitus to be effectively eliminated when sleeping.


Lyric, on the downside, lacks any type of built-in sound therapy or masking noises, whereas the majority of traditional hearing aids will have tinnitus features, such as built-in tinnitus modules or possibly Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to stream whatever sounds you find soothing for your tinnitus. This is only required if your tinnitus can be heard while wearing a hearing aid. However, because the Lyric is placed deep inside your ear, you could still use sound therapy through your earphones and you wouldn't have any problems using sound therapy to some extent.


According to Phonak, a 2016 study (1) comparing the efficacy of Lyric to traditional receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids (HA) and the same hearing aids with a sound generator (HA1SG) discovered that Lyric relieved tinnitus symptoms faster than the other options. The Tinnitus Functional Index, which is used worldwide, was used to assess symptoms (TFI). The Tinnitus Foundation International (TFI) is the global standard for assessing the impact of tinnitus.


According to the researchers, Lyric improved the response to tinnitus in 82% of the participants, resulting in a 13-point reduction in the TFI score. This was higher than the 67 per cent who used daily wear hearing aids and the 79 per cent who used daily wear hearing aids with noise generators.


A separate study (2), according to Phonak, looked at the long-term benefits of the Lyric hearing aid versus daily wear hearing aids. The study found that Lyric provided a clinically and statistically significant reduction in tinnitus severity after one month when compared to the daily wear group. That was much faster than the people who used hearing aids on a daily basis.


It took three months for users of daily wear hearing aids to experience a clinically significant decrease in TFI scores. The Lyric group also had a greater reduction in sleep disturbance, indicating that Lyric can help people with tinnitus sleep better. Continuous auditory system stimulation appears to result in both faster and more comprehensive tinnitus relief.


Lyric is not an option for people who have tinnitus but no hearing loss, but it appears to be a good option for people who have moderate hearing loss and tinnitus. You can also use it while sleeping, which is unlike traditional hearing aids, which are likely to be uncomfortable or fall out.


Lyric appears to be an effective option for managing tinnitus if a person is trying to address their hearing loss and has difficulty falling or staying asleep due to their tinnitus.


A traditional hearing aid may be better if you want a little more flexibility and control over using sound therapy and selecting a specific sound that helps to soothe you and distract you from your tinnitus. It comes down to personal preference. If cost is an issue, you will most likely spend more money on the Lyric than on a traditional hearing aid, which is something to consider mainly due to the ongoing costs of a subscription service.


If you're on the fence, one of the best things you can do is schedule a trial period with Liverpool Hearing Centre to see if the Lyric is the best option for treating your hearing loss or if a more traditional hearing aid is the best option for treating your tinnitus and hearing loss.


1. Henry J et al, 2016 ,Randomized Controlled Trial: Extended-Wear vs. Conventional vs. Combination Hearing Devices for Tinnitus, JAm Acad Audiol 00:1-16


2. D,Power et al, Lyric an effective option for Tinnitus: Investigating the benefits of a hearing aid that can be worn 24/7 Internal Report Peer reviewed Journal publication expected 2019