Company introducing new hearing aid technology to Arizonans

The company Lantos is using digital data points to make ear molds to improve the fit of hearing aids.
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 10:12 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Hearing aids aren’t cheap. So it can be frustrating when they don’t fit well or work like they’re supposed to.

“When you can’t understand somebody, it’s hard to know what they want,” Scottsdale resident Ron Marrou said.

After a lifetime spent in sawmills and around aviation technology, Marrou’s hearing started to go south in his late thirties. When he transitioned to a sales job later in life, he realized how bad his hearing had become.

“I was even at the point of recording my customers what they were talking about so I could hear what they were saying,” Marrou said.

Traditionally, hearing aids have involved a silicon ear mold. These often work fine, but they don’t account for pockets in ear canals that can impact the long-term fit.

“You don’t really get the full dynamic,” Beltone West Co-Owner Dustin McMinn said. “When we take a digital representation, it’s collecting it pretty much as it truly is.”

Beltone West is the only company in the state certified to use the Lantos 3D ear-scanning system. Part of that is due to price: these scanning machines cost about $15,000. But McMinn thinks it’s worth it for the safety they provide.

“Getting a standard ear impression with the silicone material even remotely this deep to do is very difficult to do,” he said. “Very risky as well. You have chances of hurting the patient.”

Soon, Lantos won’t be the only new hearing aid technology available to Arizonans. This Friday, Jabra over-the-counter hearing aids will be the first FDA-approved product available to the general public.

“It’s kind of lowering the barrier to entry for people that have mild hearing loss,” Beltone West Co-owner Kory Castro said.

The Jabra technology might be too little, too late for someone like Marrou. But after using the Lantos technology for his latest set of hearing aids, he’s already noticed a difference.

“It’s not going to come back to normal,” Marrou said. “But I’m very comfortable I can live with it.”

For more information on technologies at Beltone West, you can check out their website.