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Hearing Aid Wearers Restrict Everyday Activities Due to Hearing Device Limitations, Study Finds

Siemens Hearing Instruments Responds to Consumer Needs with Waterproof Aquaris™ Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. today announced the findings of a recent survey of 500 hearing aid wearers, showing the need for a more robust hearing device to accommodate today’s active lifestyles. According to the study, Americans want to lead a more vibrant daily life, but feel bound by the shortcomings of today’s traditional hearing devices. Siemens fills the gap with the new Aquaris, the first truly waterproof, dustproof and shock-resistant hearing aid.

Recent survey results show hearing aid wearers are concerned with water damage to their hearing aids and refrain from activities they would otherwise enjoy, such as swimming or lounging at the pool or hot tub. A third of respondents state that wearing their hearing device on a day with adverse weather conditions directly affects their routine. In addition to concerns about water exposure, many hearing aid wearers avoid activities that involve dust or dirt, like woodworking, farming and construction.

Water, dust and shock all impose challenges in the lives of hearing aid wearers. Nearly all survey respondents remove their hearing aids for water-related events, such as bathing and swimming, posing a potentially hazardous situation, for example, if a lifeguard’s warning is not heard. The survey also found that one in six people actually forgo certain activities altogether for fear of getting their hearing device wet or dirty.

“Around nine million Americans who reportedly wear hearing aids are restricting everyday activities because traditional hearing aids naturally have limitations,” said Alina Urdaneta, Vice President of Marketing, Siemens Hearing Instruments. “It’s time that people with hearing loss are empowered to live their lives to the fullest – to feel free to participate in activities they enjoy without having to worry about their hearing aids.”

About 53 percent of respondents expressed interest in a sturdier hearing solution, better capable of handling a broader range of environmental situations. When asked about hearing aid features, more than 70 percent of respondents expressed interest in a waterproof device, with 63 and 60 percent, respectively, interested in shock-resistant and dustproof qualities.

Aquaris Hearing Instrument
To better meet the needs of the community, Siemens has developed its new waterproof, dustproof and shock-resistant Aquaris hearing instrument. This innovative device allows wearers to enjoy a wider range of activities while focusing on the experience rather than on damaging the hearing aid.

“We are so proud to be the first manufacturer to offer customers a more robust and versatile hearing instrument specifically designed with today’s active lifestyle in mind,” said Dr. Tom Powers, Vice President of Audiology, Siemens Hearing Instruments. “It’s understandable that hearing aids can get damaged with sweat, water, dust and sand. But people shouldn’t have to choose between the activities they love and the ability to hear.”

Unlike other hearing instruments, Aquaris is more than just water resistant—it’s truly waterproof. Its housing is constructed from a single piece and features watertight seals and membranes, all of which have been tested and certified to receive the IP57 rating. This certification means Aquaris can be submerged in water up to three feet for 30 minutes with no damage to the instrument, and dust will not interfere with device operation. Wearers can now participate in popular activities like water aerobics and still be able to hear the instructor. Its robust housing also means Aquaris is dustproof and shock-resistant, putting wearers’ minds at ease during activities such as beach volleyball, woodworking and baking, as well as farming and construction.

More than just a hearing aid with a tough exterior, Aquaris is equipped with clinically-proven BestSound™ Technology. Its industry-leading feedback cancellation system prevents embarrassing whistling while making speech sound clearer, even in noisy environments. It even learns your listening preferences in various surroundings and then adjusts automatically for sound quality that is truly personalized. All this results in a device that is as technologically advanced inside as it is outside.

Aquaris is compatible with Siemens Tek™ and miniTek™ wireless enhancement systems, letting wearers take full advantage of streaming sound from Bluetooth®-enabled devices including mobile phones and mp3 players. Coupled with the new Siemens Aquapac, users can easily listen to music while swimming or talk on the phone while washing the car. An optional Sport Clip ensures a secure hold for those who engage in vigorous activities like hiking, running, rowing and sailing.

Aquaris is available now. For more information, visit www.usa.siemens.com/aquaris.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion Euros and profit of around 750 million Euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Siemens AG is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners

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