Hearing is believing
MARQUETTE — These aren’t your grandfather’s hearing aids, not by any measure. Because the NuEar Circa AI hearing aid not only helps a person hear more clearly, it can track body and brain health.
Superior Hearing’s Dr. Brian Kuopus, who has a doctorate in audiology from the University of Northern Colorado, said the changes and advancements in the field are exciting.
“The whole goal of a hearing aid has always been to improve someone’s ability to communicate,” he said. “These new exciting features are opening up a whole new fitness and health tracking system on top of providing unprecedented hearing help and connectivity to the hearing world.
This AI edition of a hearing aid can capture conversations, record steps and more.
“This device soon will even be able to detect falls,” Dr. Kuopus said. “Very soon, an integrated sensor inside the hearing aid will be able to detect falls, and a text will be sent to a contact person to summon help right away.”
While people of all ages wear hearing aids, many of the users are senior citizens.
“The older you get, the harder it can be to manage your health,” he said. “In recent years, for instance, hearing aids have trended towards rechargeable batteries. That takes the battery-change element out of it, which can make a big difference in ease of use for patient.
“Hearing aids have come a long way and continue to evolve and improve.” But at the same time, it is critical that the devices are programmed accurately and maintained on a regular basis by your audiologist.
Anyone interested in learning more about how to improve one’s hearing is invited to contact Dr. Kuopus at Superior Hearing to get things started.
“The first visit, we will visually examine the ears to make sure there’s nothing that would need a referral to an ear,nose, and throat specialist or a family physician,” he said. “Then we will do audiometric testing to gauge the severity of the individual’s hearing loss severity.”
If hearing aids are needed, it’s a very individual process. What works for one person may not work for another.
“They are programmed for each individual’s needs, for instance, the patient controlled volume adjustment and the different listening environments the individual will be in,” Kuopus said. “And we follow up to check that the hearing aids are performing appropriately.”
With the AI edition of hearing technology, there is even a smart-phone app that can help find a lost hearing aid, much like one can find a lost phone.
“This new technology offers superior sound quality and a whole realm of health-related applications,” Kuopus said. “The idea is to improve overall health and communication abilities while keeping track of one’s fitness and social engagement.”
Brian Kuopus is the second generation of his family to be part of Superior Hearing audiology and hearing aid services, which has been helping Upper Peninsula residents for three decades.
“We firmly believe that people improve people’s hearing will make their lives better,” he said. “And we find this time of year is when kids may bring their parents in. They are having family get-togethers and may notice a parent is having difficulty hearing.
“We want to help people enjoy this time of year by allowing people who are suffering from hearing loss back into the social mainstream.”
Hearing loss is an invisible painless problem that creeps up on people without them even knowing sometimes, Kuopus said. “And we want to help people to overcome that disability.”
The main office of Superior Hearing is at 515 W. Washington St. in downtown Marquette, with regional service centers in Escanaba, Hancock, Iron Mountain, Ishpeming and L’Anse.
Superior Hearing can be reached by calling 906-225-0923 or 1-800-468-9192.
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