Authors: W. Lin
Affilation: Starkey Labs, Inc., United States
Pages: 726 - 728
Keywords: superhydrophobic, oleophobic, hearing instruments, wax
One of the recurring problems with hearing aids is the frequent exposure to moisture, wax and other foreign materials that can degrade and eventually hinder their performance. This issue may be exacerbated as the demographics of the hearing impaired shifts to hearing aid wearers with more active lifestyles (such as baby boomers and children). As result, hearing aids from several manufacturers have been equipped with capabilities to repel foreign material, mostly via hydrophobic nano coating . However, this type of coating was only effective in repelling water, but not suitable in dealing with ear wax and other oily substances. Recently, Starkey has developed a new protective hearing aid technology, called HydraShield2, which not only improves upon existing water-resistant capabilities, but also enhances the resistance to waxes, oils, and other liquids. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated through lab testing and patient pilot study.