Home > Lyric Hearing > My Lyric Beta Ended… Seems like I need to Wait for 2.0

My Lyric Beta Ended… Seems like I need to Wait for 2.0

More on My Lyric Hearing Trial

Last Monday was day 25 of my trial of the Lyric hearing devices that I previously detailed here and here.  Sadly, in the short-term, I will go forward without the devices. As I will explain below, I already had to remove the Lyric in my left ear roughly two weeks into the trial. Upon inspection of the right, the team at my Lyric provider and I agreed we should remove the second one as well.

In spite of issues that I’ve had, I remain impressed with the product and am hopeful that we can try again at some future point, perhaps when the newer Lyric devices hit the market (see this story on the swim proof version being tested. For the days when the devices were working and properly in place, it was truly a revelation to hear better. Although my hearing loss is not truly severe, it was amazing to realize how much I’d been missing.

All of this didn’t really hit home until I no longer had the devices.

For those of you considering Lyric, I share my experience as it may be useful to you as you evaluate this technology.

The Devices Initially Worked Great
The devices initially fit and worked properly even though the ENT folks that are seeing me had some concerns regarding the depth of my ear canals. Fairly quickly I noticed that my left ear seemed a bit clogged. I had a scheduled (and unrelated appointment) with the ENT office and while I was there I shared my experience. My nose seemed to showing some signs of a sinus infection, so they put me on antibiotics. After about 5 days with no real improvement, I went back and we decided to pull the device from my left ear.

Upon inspection of my left canal, the PA indicated that there was “ulceration,” and we agreed to medicate it topically (to calm it down) and that I would come back in 10 days or so to determine next steps. Her suspicion based on looking at the pulled device was that some internal movement (e.g. chewing, etc…) likely dislodged the device enough so that it began to irritate/inflame the canal enough for me to get the plugged up sensation.

For those you considering this technology, it’s important to understand that the devices are really disposable. Once you pull a device it can’t be reused or reinserted again, so providers are going to be understandable reluctant to wantonly remove devices unless absolutely necessary, especially during a free trial period.

After that visit, I retained the right Lyric device only, and I suspected all along that my right ear was going through something similar. It still seemed inserted, but I could kind of feel some movements of the device, especially when chewing or moving my eye brows.

When I returned for my next visit, the audiologist and physician’s assistant immediately noticed an abnormal waxy buildup in my right ear, and given what I described regarding the movement and the plugged up feeling, we decided to pull the second device as well.

Be Very Careful to Set Your Expectations Properly
Based on my discussion with my providers, I suspect that what I’m experiencing is fairly common. Indeed the practice I’m seeing has indicated that in spite of great interest, they have been experiencing very mixed results with as much as 60% of their trial customers bailing. From the very beginning they were very careful to set the expectations properly… and I always looked at this as an experiment.

I know that there are new Lyric devices on the horizon and am hoping that I might be able to get access to the new models sooner rather than later, and wondered where they were at in your development cycle. My local provider is admittedly in the dark regarding what’s coming, so they have been unable to shed any light on what to expect.

Meanwhile, although the audiologist was keen to get me to try alternatives to Lyric, I’m not quite ready to do that yet. So for now, I’m back to being a bit hearing challenged.

Note: For those of you watching this space from a business perspective, InSound Medical, which created and markets Lyric announced today it has been acquired by Sonova Holding AG, of Switzerland, the folks behind Phonak hearing aids. Sonova’s latest deal comes just days after it completed its acquisition of cochlear implant maker Advanced Bionics. Clearly they are seeing a lot of potential growth in this market. The acquisition is likely good news for customers, as the infusion of Sonova’s smarts and resources is likely to accelerate Lyric’s development. Find out more about this deal here.

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