Tiny Hearing Aids Help Teens

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Twin brothers Baylor and Braden McPherso are pretty much best buds.

They're juniors at Deer Creek. When they're not studying,  they're on the river.  They row for wins and championships.  Something else they share,  they both wear hearing aids.  Mom Callie said they were diagnosed young.

"They were 6 years old and they failed a hearing test at school."

She said their old hearing aids had posed a number of problems.

"The old hearing aids- just getting the kids to wear them."

Braden said it was tough.  "You had to take them out to take a shower, if you get them wet you destroy them."

Baylor said there were social issues too.

"When we were little we used to take them out because people made fun of us."

However, a month and 1/2 ago,  something new came their way.  Dr. Natalie Martella from Hearts from Hearing explained.

"It sits about 4 millimeters from the eardrum. They do come in 5 sizes."
It's a tiny hearing aid called Lyric. Martella said it is much like extended wear contact lenses.

"It stays in the ear for an extended period of time. 24/7 as we like to say because you never have to take it out until it dies."

Mom Callie said it's been amazing for the boys.

"They can shower in them they can sweat in them and not have any damage."

Not everyone can use a this type of hearing aid.  Martella said it's for moderate to severe hearing loss.

Some say a downside is when the battery runs down and you have to get a new one - you need assistance from a specialist.  Martella said the battery life varies.

"The battery can last up to 4 months generally I see about a month and 1/2 to 3 months."

But for these boys, Baylor said it's a game-changer.

"It's different because no one knows you have hearing loss."

The cost of the Lyric is like a subscription.  It is 3-thousand dollars per year for two hearing aids.  That includes replacements and fittings.  Unfortunately, at this point they are rarely covered by insurance.