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Hearing aid technology goes wireless

October 29, 2012
The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Technology has made huge strides in recent years with the development of wireless including Bluetooth. Hearing aids, meanwhile, have made the same kinds of improvements along with being much more comfortable than in the past.

Over the years, if someone needed a hearing aid, they would have to make an appointment to get their hearing tested and ears measured one day before returning days or even weeks later to pick up the hearing aid.

Now, someone can come in to Superior Hearing Aid Center, get tested and fitted for a hearing aid and walk out that same day, able to hear clearer and better than before.

Article Photos

Peter Kuopus, hearing aid specialist and Superior Hearing Aid Center owner, demonstrates on his son and audiologist, Brain Kuopus, how the inside of someone’s ear can be checked with a scope that projects the image on a screen. Below left, this device called SurfLink Mobile commicates through Bluetooth with a newer hearing aid called RIC Hearing Aids. When the hearing aid and device are synced, the SurfLink Mobile can be used a wireless microphone. The SurfLink Mobile can communicate with Bluetooth-capable cell phones so a person with a hearing aid can use it as a receiver and microphone. The user will not need to hold a phone to their ear.

Hearing aids have come a long way just in the past five years, said Peter Kuopus, hearing aid specialist and Superior Hearing Aid Center owner.

"It's a great feeling that we can get someone hearing better in one visit and that they don't have to wait weeks to get a custom-made hearing aid," Kuopus said.

Demonstrating the new technology brings immediate relief, along with smiles and sometimes tears of joy.

Superior Hearing Aid Center has been in the area, helping people hear better for a quarter century. In those 25 years, Kuopus has insured that his business has kept up with the best and latest technology available when it comes to hearing aids.

In the past, hearing aids were analog devices. They have since moved to digital and now digital programmable, which means they are plugged into a computer to be set for a patient's hearing, Kuopus said. You can adjust many things about the hearing aids, such as the power level and tone, he said, and they work automatically to adjust for noise level.

"If you have soft sounds, it goes louder and if you have loud sounds, it goes softer," Kuopus said. "They are also able to separate noise from speech."

One of the biggest changes in hearing aids is they no longer squeal or whistle like the older models, Kuopus said.

"The new hearing aids have feedback cancellation," Kuopus said. "So, it enables us to give more sound and also have a design of hearing aid that leaves your ear canal open."

One of the newest technologies offered with hearing aids is Bluetooth and wireless. The hearing aids themselves can now sync with a Bluetooth device called SurfLink Mobile. It allows a person with a Bluetooth-capable hearing aid to sync to the device and then sync the device to their Bluetooth-capable phone.

When the phone rings, the SurfLink Mobile will notify the user and the hearing aid acts just like any other Bluetooth device, as a receiver and microphone.

This technology also allows the hearing aids to have a wireless connection directly to the television.

Superior Hearing Aid Center expanded its clinical services earlier this year with the addition of Brian Kuopus, a doctor of audiology.

Superior Hearing Aid Center has locations in Marquette, Ishpeming, Escanaba, Hancock, Iron Mountain and L'Anse. For more information on the new technology offered with hearing aids or getting your hearing tested, visit or call 225-0923. A hearing-screening test is provided at no charge.

EDITOR'S?NOTE:?This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Superior Hearing Aid Center of?Marquette. Businesses interested in being featured on the In Business page may call Larry Doyle at 228-2500, extension 258.



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