Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the question you are interested in to be directed to the dedicated paragraph.
- How does the hearing system work ?
- What is presbyacusis ?
- How to prevent presbycusis ?
- What are the risks if I don't wear a hearing aid despite my presbycusis ?
- Presbycusis VS hearing disability : what are the differences ?
- Why are the AZUR and ORISON hearing aids not suitable for hearing disability ?
- How do I know if the AZUR or ORISON hearing aids compensate for my hearing loss ?
- If the AZUR or ORISON hearing aid does not suit me, what should I do ?
- Do I need to consult a doctor before buying one of your hearing aids ?
- Why is there an ORISON hearing aid for the right ear and one for the left ear ?
- Do I have to wear 2 ORISON hearing aids (bilateral fitting) ?
- If I choose a unilateral fitting, which ear should I fit ?
- If I only wear one ORISON or AZUR hearing aid, will the other ear age faster ?
- CIC (ORISON) VS BTE (AZUR) : what are the differences between these 2 types of hearing aids ?
- Are there any contraindications to choose a CIC hearing aid like ORISON ?
- Does the ORISON hearing aid allow 360° listening ?
- Does the AZUR hearing aid allow 360° listening ?
- Preset hearing aid VS traditional hearing aid : similarities and differences
- Why such a difference in price between AZUR, ORISON and a traditional hearing aid ?
- Are the AZUR and ORISON hearing aids covered by a warranty ?
- How do I purchase an extended Sérénité warranty for the AZUR / ORISON hearing aid ?
- Is the CIC ORISON hearing aid rechargeable ?
- Is the AZUR mini-BTE hearing aid rechargeable ?
- Why do all hearing aids look the same, regardless of the price ?
- I wear an anti COVID mask and glasses : will ORISON / AZUR bother me ?
- Where can I find the ORISON / AZUR hearing aid in my country ?
- Is the ORISON / AZUR user manual available in my language ?
- I was the victim of a scam on Amazon, thinking i was buying an ORISON hearing aid, what should I do ?
How does the hearing system work ?
Hearing has a dual role :
- Communication, through speech and exchange ;
- Vigilance and alert, by constantly listening to our sound environment. The ear is never at rest and starts to age from birth.
Hearing requires the existence of sounds.
A sound is a wave that propagates in the air in the form of pressure variations. It is defined by 3 characteristics :
- The amplitude : determines if the sound is weak or strong. The amplitude is expressed in decibels (dB). On an ENT audiogram, the amplitude is located on the ordinate axis ;
- The frequency : determines if the sound is low or high. The frequency is expressed in Hertz (Hz). On an ENT audiogram, the frequency is located on the abscissa axis ;
- The time : it is expressed in seconds.
The hearing is exerted by the auditory system, through 2 channels :
- The ear, which collects, analyzes and transforms the sounds into nerve impulses ;
- The central nervous system, which interprets the sounds.
The ear is a true anatomical amplifier. Its complex structure shelters the auditory receiver allowing to transform the electric signals into nervous influx.
• At the level of the external ear : the pinna, thanks to its folds and its shape, collects and amplifies the sound waves which are then guided to the eardrum by the auditory canal. The ear canal is a cavity filled with air that communicates with the outside ;
• In the middle ear : the eardrum reacts to the pressure variations of the sound wave and transmits them to the ossicles (hammer, anvil, stirrup). The role of the ossicles is to mechanically amplify the vibrations of the tympanic membrane and to transmit them to the cochlea (snail-shaped organ of hearing) ;
• At the level of the inner ear : the 15,000 hair cells distributed at the base of the cochlea detect the vibrations and generate the nerve impulses that are sent to the brain by the auditory nerve ;
• At the level of the nervous system, the auditory stimulus activates several cerebral areas, in both hemispheres : thus, a word heard activates the part of the brain that hears it and the part where it is understood. Auditory capacity only accounts for 10% in global comprehension ! Cognition influences the way we hear. In fact, most of the information processing is done by :
- The central processing of information,
- The cognitive abilities of the subject (his / her memory),
- Life experiences (such as socio-economic status).
Further informations :
What is presbyacusis ?
Presbycusis is the most common hearing loss in France and in the world. In France, presbycusis affects nearly 6 million people. Usually described as "age-related hearing loss" because 85% of people over 65 are concerned, however, presbycusis is no longer the prerogative of the elderly. While the average age of onset has been reduced by a decade - from 70 to 62 years - many studies point out that a quarter of people under 30 years of age suffer from a hearing loss greater than 20dB and that one out of five teenagers suffers from permanent tinnitus.
Presbycusis is the decrease in hearing acuity linked to the natural ageing of the hearing system. It affects everyone, from the age of sixty onwards and concerns 90% of current hearing problems.
Presbycusis is progressive, this is why it can be difficult for the subject to realize it on his or her own : 42% of presbycusis sufferers consult an ENT specialist under pressure from their relatives. Presbycusis is also bilateral and symmetrical : the hearing loss is the same on both ears, except in special cases that may lead to a more pronounced loss on the right or left side. Finally, presbycusis focuses on the high frequencies (2000Hz to 8000Hz), for 2 main reasons :
- In terms of species evolution, the high frequencies were built in a very short time and are therefore fragile ;
- Anatomically, the high frequencies are located in a restricted area, at the base of the cochlea (snail-like hearing organ) and are therefore in the front line of sound and/or pressure aggression.
Indispensable to the proper understanding of words, the high frequencies carry the voices of women and children, transmitting the energy of whistling or fricative consonants (f, s, t). Thus, men are the first to be bothered by presbycusis and often have their entourage repeat themselves. In general, presbycusis leads to confusion between words as well as a poor understanding of sibilant or fricative consonants. The people concerned have difficulty understanding conversations in a noisy environment or with an ambient hubbub (restaurant, professional or family meeting, open-space) ; difficulties in following exchanges on television, radio, theater or cinema. If these people do not complain of hearing problems, they nevertheless underline having difficulties to "understanding in a noisy environment" and/or "that the youth no longer articulate". At the end of the day, they experience increased fatigue because of the effort required to understand and not to repeat - especially at work, where self-image and productivity are paramount In the workplace, presbycusis is one of the primary factors affecting employee well-being.
The audiogram of a presbycusis shows a decrease in hearing acuity on the high frequencies, while the middle and low frequencies are relatively well preserved. While the intensity of the hearing loss varies from person to person, the audiometric curve remains similar, indicating the possibility of a preset hearing aid. When the hearing loss reaches 30dB, the discomfort is obvious. From this stage, the doctor will indicate a hearing aid, which can be bilateral (on both ears) or unilateral (on only one ear).
• ENT audiogram of a presbycusis hearing loss in an 83 year old patient. Since the hearing loss is greater than 30dB on both the right and left sides, the recommendation is for a bilateral hearing aid. This could be a BTE hearing aid or an CIC hearing aid, depending on the individual's preference, both types being perfectly suited to presbycusis.
• ENT audiogram of a presbycusis hearing loss in a 69-year-old female patient. Since the hearing loss is greater than 30dB on both the right and left sides, a bilateral hearing aid is recommended. It can be a BTE hearing aid or an CIC hearing aid depending on the subject's preference, both types are perfectly suitable.
• ENT audiogram of presbycusis in an 84-year-old female patient. Since the hearing loss is less than 30dB on the left (max. 25dB on the 8000Hz frequency), the recommendation is for a right unilateral hearing aid. Both types of hearing aids - BTE and CIC - are suitable and the choice is left to the patient.
• ENT audiogram of a presbycusis hearing loss in a 67-year-old female patient. With a hearing loss of 30dB on the left side, the recommendation may be for a bilateral or a right unilateral fitting, depending on the patient's experience. Both types of hearing aids - BTE and CIC - are well suited to compensate for presbycusis.
• ENT audiogram of presbycusis in a 78-year-old patient. Since the hearing loss is greater than 30dB on the right and on the left, the indication for a bilateral hearing aid is given. A BTE hearing aid is suitable, as well as an CIC hearing aid.
• ENT audiogram of presbycusis in a 55-year-old patient. Since the hearing loss is greater than 30dB on both the right and left sides, a bilateral hearing aid is indicated. Both types of hearing aids - BTE and CIC - are perfectly suitable, the choice must be left to the subject.
In general, a presbycusis hearing loss is summarized as follows by professionals :
The audiogram of a presbycusis is therefore typical, showing the possibility of a hearing aid specially designed to compensate for the damaged frequencies, thanks to a specific pre-configuration. This is what the AZUR and ORISON hearing aids allow.
Further informations :
How to prevent presbycusis ?
Contrary to the eye, which rests as soon as the eyelid closes, the ear functions day and night and begins to age from birth. The hearing is exerted by the ear and the central nervous system : we are born with a contingent of 15 000 hair cells which ensure the transformation of the sound vibration into nervous message, which the brain interprets. These cells are sensitive to sound and pressure aggressions. When they are destroyed, they do not grow back : the decrease in hearing acuity is then irrevocable. To prevent presbycusis, it is therefore necessary to understand the different types of aggressions and to protect oneself from them.
• Noise aggression
We live in a world where noise pollution is widespread, whether it is caused by us (headphones, DIY at home, disco) or not (road works, road traffic, airport) : 7 million French people live in areas of excessive noise and 2 million are exposed to noise risks in their professional environment. Noise is an integral part of our daily life and our ears are therefore, at all times, subjected to a severe test. Among young people, the use of the MP3 format is strongly correlated with the resurgence of early deafness, traumatosound. This format, designed to lighten the weight of files, uses drastic modifications of the sound signal, the main one consisting in carrying out a dynamic compression, that is to say in raising the sounds of weak level and lowering those of strong level. The sound thus levelled has no more contrast, with a double consequence :
- The increase of the volume, to find the illusion of sound relief ;
- The increase in the number of music files stored in our pocket, in other words, the availability of an overabundance of music that pushes us to prolong the listening time, at high volume, with headphones.
• The pressure aggressions
Other types of aggressions can have an early impact on our hearing health. This is the case of pressure aggressions, which can be combined with sound aggressions and which can be found in the practice of certain sports or leisure activities such as diving, combat sports, hunting, shooting and motorcycling for examples.
• Other factors affecting good hearing
Some drugs also have an ototoxic effect, particularly in cases of renal failure. This is the case of aminoglycosides above a certain threshold, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cisplatin and certain anti-malarial drugs. Finally, other factors can cause hearing loss and many of them are modern ailments : diabetes, obesity, poor diet, smoking.
• Preventing age-related hearing loss or presbycusis
To keep a good hearing as long as possible, it is therefore essential to protect your ears throughout your life. It is therefore recommended to always carry anti-noise protection with you, to be worn at the slightest excessive stress. During festivals, concerts or other places of high noise exposure, we should also add moments of auditory rest (30 minutes to 1 hour in dedicated spaces).
For music lovers, favour High Definition formats, so that it is not necessary to increase the volume. Finally, the use of headphones should be limited to 30 minutes continuously.
For scuba divers, banish the Valsalva maneuver, whose repeated blows increase the hearing loss on the 6000Hz frequency, and favor soft compensation methods (Frenzel or Voluntary Tubal Beance), which are a-traumatic for the hearing. The latter are taught by federal instructors but it is common for an experienced diver to naturally switch to Frenzel over the years.
For leisure activities such as hunting and shooting, hearing protection is recommended and, in most cases, provided. For motorcyclists, many specific protections can be purchased in specialized stores.
Finally, in general, it is recommended to adopt a healthy diet. For all the cells of the body as well as for those of the hearing, a diet rich in antioxidants prevents ageing. Red wine, red fruits, small blue fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, turmeric and black pepper, curry, cumin, Mediterranean diet and spirulina are good examples of foods that can prevent the action of time and stay in shape as long as possible.
Further informations :
- Can we prevent hearing loss ?
- Noise pollution and hearing risks
- Factors other than noise aggression in the genesis of hearing loss
- The consequences of noise on the body and health
- Misophonia : an affliction of our time ?
- SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) and deafness: current knowledge and action
- Blast of the ear and diver's ear
- Divers, beware of your 6000Hz frequency !
- National Police and professional risk of hearing loss
What are the risks if I don't wear a hearing aid despite my presbycusis ?
The auditory stimulus activates several cerebral areas, in both hemispheres : the part of the brain that hears it and the part where it is understood. The decrease in auditory acuity leads to a reduction in the auditory stimulus transmitted to the nervous system and, as a result, to insufficient cortical stimulation, with a triple consequence :
- A decrease in the volume of the primary auditory cortex,
- A decrease in neuronal activity in the areas concerned,
- A decrease in neuronal activity in other subcortical areas.
To compensate, the brain activates collateral circuits :
- Increase in the subject's cognitive processes (concentration to hear),
- Increase in mental resources,
- Increase in fatigue,
- Decreased attention available for other activities.
At the microscopic level, picture A below shows normal cortical layers in an individual with normal hearing :
Picture B shows the detail of a normal neuron in a person with good hearing. The neuron is composed of branches and dendrites, creating a tree structure (picture B1), which are key elements in the exchange of information between neurons and in the plasticity of the nervous system :
Photo C shows that after an auditory damage or with the natural ageing of the hearing system (presbycusis), the neurons reduce the dendritic tree and a large number of spines are then lost(photo C1) :
Thus, in a vicious circle, hearing loss leads to functional changes in the brain which, in turn, reinforce the deterioration of hearing acuity, increasing the risk of cognitive decline. Some facts about unaid hearing loss and the risk of dementia :
- People with unaid hearing loss are 24% more likely to suffer from a decline in cognitive skills such as concentration, memory and planning ability ;
- Hearing loss is linked to a 3-fold increased risk of dementia ;
- 3 out of 4 people with dementia also have hearing loss ;
- The more fragile a hearing is, the greater the levels of cognitive impairment it is linked to ;
- Mild, moderate and severe hearing loss are associated with a 2, 3 and 5 times greater risk of cognitive decline respectively than in people with no hearing loss ;
- Bilateral hearing loss is associated with a 43% increased risk of dementia.
Today, worldwide :
- 360 million people over age 65 have hearing loss, representing 33% of the world's population ;
- 47 million people over 65 suffer from dementia, i.e. 10% of the world population.
What about tomorrow ? In 2050, 720 million people worldwide will suffer from hearing loss and 131 million from dementia. Hearing aids are a public health issue.
Further informations :
Presbycusis VS hearing disability : what are the differences ?
France has 6 million hearing impaired people, i.e. 10% of its population. When talking about hearing troubles, it is essential to distinguish between presbycusis and severe hearing impairment. The former concerns 88% of the hearing impaired population, whereas the severe hearing impaired affects 12% of this population, i.e. a little more than 700,000 French people who practice sign language and lip reading. Among the people with hearing disabilities, we distinguish :
- People with severe deafness (any hearing loss between 80dB and 90dB). They represent 9% of people with hearing disabilities ;
- People with profound deafness (any hearing loss above 90dB). They represent about 3% of people with hearing disabilities.
The percentage of people with hearing aids varies according to the intensity of the hearing loss and the possibility - or not - of hearing aids for this hearing loss. For example :
- The profoundly deaf are not aided, the individuals concerned speak Sign Language ;
- Severe deafness can be fitted with a hearing aid and 90% of the individuals concerned are fitted with a hearing aid, after a long and regulated process of care. Without this hearing aid, they would not have been able to acquire language or socialize. Many of them also practice sign language or lip reading. For these people, hearing aids are essential ;
- Mild to moderate hearing loss, presbycusis, can be fitted. However, only 25% of the people concerned wear a hearing aid, i.e. 1 person out of 4. Presbycousisers are directly concerned by the risks of not wearing a hearing aid, because they are the only ones who refuse it massively, considering their hearing problem as a simple discomfort and not wishing, therefore, for a heavy, visible or expensive solution to compensate for this discomfort.
For people with a severe hearing disability, the path to hearing aid treatment is long and regulated. The first step is to identify the disability : deafness is not the first reason to think about when the child is isolated, speaks little, does not understand. Many doctors are consulted. One of them realizes that the problem is auditory and refers the parents to an ENT specialist, who will confirm the handicap. If the discomfort can be fitted, the patient will then be referred to a hearing aid specialist.
"My deafness started at birth, I grew up in a hearing environment but I couldn't hear properly. I was treated in psych while I was hard of hearing. I lost my left ear at the age of 4 and with my mother I used a very personal code to communicate. It wasn't until I was 28 years old that a psychiatrist had doubts about certain behaviors I was having, which could be the result of a deafness and/or a neurological disease. I was not able to buy my hearing aids until I was 45 years old. That's when the neurological disease was discovered : mitochondrial myopathy type SKK."
The second step is to fit the hearing impaired with a hearing aid (BTE) and to adjust the hearing aid. The adjustments and their follow-up, over time, for this type of deafness, are essential : these are individuals who will learn or relearn to hear, with hearing aids. All sounds are different and the work of a hearing aid acoustician is to make them as pleasant as possible for the hearing impaired person fitted with a hearing aid. It is a long and delicate job, guaranteeing the good quality of life of the hearing impaired person.
"With my hearing aids, what I hear is metallic and distorted, unpleasant. Without a hearing aid, I can hear some of what I heard before my hearing problems, but I miss the extreme frequencies."
"I never really heard music without a hearing aid. I know the sounds are different, but I can't make a personal comparison."
"Listening to music with my hearing aids is horrible, impossible to bear. I used to love music a lot, I was in a choir. I am now unable to recognize a tune or song and the sound of music has become an ordeal."
"I am profoundly deaf with tinnitus and vertigo, following shell and grenade explosions suffered on January 18th, 1959 and a skull injury on November 9th, 1960. My perception of music is totally different from what it was before this date. Very painful existence since these disabling injuries that are heavy to bear."
The care path and the offer of hearing aids for presbycusis are, today, the same as those proposed to people with severe disabilities :
- A long and regulated pathway ;
- A BTE hearing aid offered in 80% of cases, while the user has the choice (with a CIC) ;
- A 4-year follow-up service, which is rarely or never used by the people concerned.
The only difference is the coverage : excellent for people with a hearing disability, it is very low for French presbycusis.
As a result, presbycusisers either reject the care pathway or accept it to a certain extent : the pathway to hearing aids has many dropouts at different stages.
Why are the AZUR and ORISON hearing aids not suitable for hearing disability ?
People with severe hearing disabilities - a little over 700,000 in France - speak Sign Language and practice - for many - lip reading. Their hearing loss is such that without hearing aids, they would not be able to socialize. Their handicap must first be detected and then requires - when possible - a specific hearing aid (which can go as far as a cochlear implant), with numerous adjustments and settings, on atypical audiometric curves. The importance of these hearing losses (greater than 80dB) and the uniqueness of these audiometric curves make :
- Pre-adjusted hearing aids are impossible for these individuals, custom-made aids are a necessity ;
- The follow-up over time and the adjustment of hearing aid settings are essential. Learning or relearning to hear requires regular adjustment according to the user's feelings and the technical possibilities of the hearing aid.
AZUR and ORISON are hearing aids whose pre-configuration has been designed to compensate exclusively for presbycusis, which is a classic hearing loss, on specific frequencies. AZUR and ORISON compensate for mild to moderate hearing discomfort, below 80dB, i.e. all hearing discomfort that is not a severe hearing disability. In fact, a person with a severe hearing disability would not notice any difference by wearing AZUR or ORISON, whereas any person with presbycusis would find immediate listening comfort.
How do I know if the AZUR or ORISON hearing aids compensate for my hearing loss ?
• With an ENT audiogram
If you have an audiogram from an ENT doctor, make sure that your audiometric curve, both right and left, is in the green space below. To do this, simply plot the x-axis and y-axis of your audiometric curve on the graph below. The green space delimits all hearing losses compensated by the pre-configured AZUR (mini-BTE rechargeable) and ORISON (invisible CIC) hearing aids.
• Without an ENT audiogram
If you do not have an audiogram, try either one, depending on your preference (CIC or mini-BTE). AZUR and ORISON are on sale over the counter and "Satisfied or your money back" for 20 days.
If the AZUR or ORISON hearing aid does not suit me, what should I do ?
SERINITI has implemented the "Satisfied or Refunded for 20 days" offer for all purchases of hearing aids made on the site www.seriniti.fr. Consequently, if - for one reason or another - AZUR or ORISON does not suit you, you have 20 days to return your hearing aid, in its original box, with all accessories and components, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions of Sale. Upon receipt, your order will be sent to the Technical Department to verify its perfect functioning and will be refunded within 3 to 5 days.
Do I need to consult a doctor before buying one of your hearing aids ?
No. Our hearing aids (both AZUR and ORISON) are over-the-counter, so no prescription is required and you are under no obligation to consult an ENT doctor before purchasing AZUR or ORISON. However, we recommend that you consult a ENT-doctor if any of the following situations apply to you :
- Your hearing discomfort has come on suddenly,
- Your hearing discomfort occurs intermittently,
- Your hearing loss affects only one ear,
- Your hearing loss is accompanied by severe headaches or even dizziness.
Why is there an ORISON hearing aid for the right ear and one for the left ear ?
Simply because the morphology of the ear canal requires it, for a greater comfort in use. Each hearing aid respects the shape of the ear canal for which it is intended. The international codes in this matter are as follows :
- Red : Right, for the right ear,
- Blue : for the left ear.
Do I have to wear 2 ORISON hearing aids (bilateral fitting) ?
No. You can opt for a unilateral hearing aid. There are several things to consider when answering this question :
- The hearing loss,
- The user's needs,
- The type of hearing aid.
On the other hand, one must keep in mind that the role of a hearing aid is to amplify the sound stimulus diminished by the hearing loss, so that it remains strong enough to stimulate the central nervous system. This stimulation can come from the right or the left ear, it does not matter. Hearing aids, unilateral or bilateral, are more about the comfort of the user.
• Hearing loss
Presbycusis is bilateral and symmetrical, which means that it affects both ears in the same way. Therefore, bilateral hearing aids are naturally recommended. Generally speaking, we consider that hearing aids are recommended from a hearing loss of 30dB. As the body is never symmetrical in reality, it is not uncommon for one ear to have a hearing loss equal to or greater than 30dB and the other ear not. In this case, a unilateral hearing aid (on one ear only) is sufficient and should be used on the ear with the greatest hearing loss (equal to or greater than 30dB).
• The user's needs
The unilateral hearing aid is also sufficient if the hearing problem is incipient (we speak of primary presbycusis), occasional (in front of the television, in a restaurant, with friends) and if you only plan to use ORISON at these times, to begin with. On the other hand, if you firmly reject hearing aids, we recommend that you opt for a unilateral hearing aid, even if you only wear it once in a while, the ideal being to gradually get used to the amplification of a hearing aid.
• The type of hearing aid
The possibility of a unilateral hearing aid is real with a CIC device (like ORISON), less with a BTE device (like AZUR). Indeed, a CIC hearing aid, by its position, uses the natural capacities of the ear, anatomical amplifier. Thus, thanks to the use of the pinna and the proximity of the tympanic membrane, ORISON reproduces amplified sounds without delay, which allows for significant hearing comfort, even with a unilateral fitting.
If I choose a unilateral fitting, which ear should I fit ?
• You have an audiogram performed by an ENT doctor
The audiogram shows the hearing loss on each ear. This hearing loss is expressed by a point that relates (abscissa, ordinate) frequency and amplitude. The set of points forms the audiometric curve. On an audiogram, the right ear is on the left and the left ear is on the right, as the ears appear to the doctor running the audiogram. Choose to fit the ear in which your audiogram shows a hearing loss of 30dB or greater.
• You do not have an ENT audiogram
Since AZUR and ORISON are available over the counter, it is quite possible that you do not have an ENT audiogram. In this case, try one or the other, depending on your preference (rechargeable mini-BTE or invisible CIC). AZUR and ORISON are "Satisfied or Refunded" for 20 days. If you opt for a unilateral fitting, choose :
- The ear you do not rely on when you are listening,
- If you have tinnitus in one ear, fit a hearing aid to that ear. It is considered that hearing aids, by amplifying voices, tend to naturally mask tinnitus.
Further informations :
If I only wear one ORISON or AZUR hearing aid, will the other ear age faster ?
No. This is a question we are regularly asked and it never ceases to surprise us. It is a sign of misinformation about hearing disorders. The ageing of the hearing system is linked to the destruction of the hair cells of the ear. Contrary to the eye, which rests almost a third of our life (as soon as the eyelid closes), the ear is never at rest and starts to age from birth. Noise, repeated sound aggressions, the practice of certain sports which can cause sound and/or pressure traumas, the taking of certain medicines, a bad hygiene of life (food, tobacco) are the principal causes of the ageing of the ear and the appearance of a hearing loss. To preserve your hearing capital, it is fundamental to protect yourself from noise and to adopt a healthy diet. A hearing aid is not intended to prevent the ageing of the ear, but to provide listening comfort when the hearing loss is present.
Further informations :
CIC (ORISON) VS BTE (AZUR) : what are the differences between these 2 types of hearing aids ?
In the hearing aid for presbycusis, the user has the choice between a CIC (Completely-In-the-Canal) hearing aid (like ORISON) and a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid (like AZUR). In order to help the user make an enlightened choice, we have written a complete article on the subject, available here CIC VS BTE.
Further informations :
Are there any contraindications to choose a CIC hearing aid like ORISON ?
There is no contraindication to wear an in-the-ear hearing aid such as ORISON. There may, however, be some impossibilities :
- If the ear canal is very small, Orison will do its job perfectly, however, it may "protrude" significantly from the ear and be visible. Thus, although the listening comfort will be there, the result will be unaesthetic : we prefer to orient people with very small ear canals on mini-BTE devices such as AZUR ;
- If the ear canal is very large, no earmold size (S, M or L) or type (CONE or TULIPE) will ensure occlusion of the ear canal. Thus, even if the device will be perfectly invisible in the ear, it will whistle permanently because the earmold will not play its role. We advise people with particularly large ear canals to choose custom-made intra-ductal devices (molding of the ear canal) made by a hearing care professional.
The number of people affected (very small ear canals or very large ear canals) is relatively low : since 2016, we have only seen about ten individuals in either situation.
Does the ORISON hearing aid allow 360° listening ?
Yes, because of its in-the-canal position, ORISON uses the ear. Composed of the pinna, which captures and spatializes sounds thanks to its funnel shape and folds, and the ear canal, which guides them to the eardrum, the ear is the most efficient natural amplifier. Slipped into the ear canal, the ORISON hearing aid uses the ear, allowing it to :
- Localize sounds in space,
- Reproduce sounds in a natural way,
- Restore sounds without delay,
- Benefit from a spatial field of 180° for a unilateral fitting and 360° for a bilateral fitting.
Does the AZUR hearing aid allow 360° listening ?
Yes, if it is worn as we sale it : as a bilateral fitting (a hearing aid on each ear).
Preset hearing aid VS traditional hearing aid : similarities and differences
A preset hearing aid is commonly referred to as a "sound amplifier" or "listening assistant" while a hearing aid adjusted by the audioprosthesist to the patient's audiometric curve is commonly referred to as a "hearing aid" or "hearing prosthesis". What do these two types of hearing aids really have in common and what are the differences ?
• Common point : their nature
Preset or custom-made, a hearing aid is, by nature, a sound amplifier ! Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, when the hair cells of the ear are destroyed, they do not grow back and the only solution available to the hearing impaired person is a hearing aid. To date, hearing aids do not integrate any artificial intelligence and do not make the destroyed hair cells grow back : whatever its price, the hearing aid is an imperfect acoustic solution (you will never regain the hearing of your younger years, hence the interest in taking care of your hearing system), which amplifies sounds on different frequencies.
• Common point : their name
The French National Agency for Health and Medicines (ANSM) specifies that terms such as "listening assistant", "sound amplifier", "hearing device", "hearing aid" or "external hearing aid" do not describe the purpose of the product and do not interfere in its regulatory status. Preset or not, sold online or at a hearing care professional, a "sound amplifier" is therefore a "hearing aid" or even a "hearing device".
• Common point : their pre-configuration
All hearing aids, whether or not they are preset, have a certain number of frequency channels pre-configured by the manufacturer, on which the intrinsic automatisms of the hearing aid are based. In the case of a hearing aid such as AZUR or ORISON, the pre-configuration was carried out beforehand by ENT doctors, in order to compensate for the frequencies damaged by the natural ageing of the ear (presbycusis). In the case of a hearing aid marketed by a hearing care professional, certain frequency channels (3, 6, 9 or more) are left free to the seller, in order to adjust the settings on the patient's audiogram.
• Common points : their technical characteristics and electronic components
Number of frequency channels, HD digital processor, smart sound processing system, ambient noise reduction : AZUR and ORISON hearing aids have similar technical features to much more expensive hearing aids. They also have the CE standard, a guarantee of quality in a market where the offer starts at less than 10€ and goes up to more than 5,000€.
• Difference : the people they are intended for
Pre-configured hearing aids, such as AZUR and ORISON, are intended exclusively for presbycousis, i.e. people who, over time, experience daily, occasional or continuous hearing discomfort, particularly in noisy environments or in front of the television. These people need a hearing aid that is easy to use, with fine tuning to the affected frequencies, as well as a consequent reduction of ambient noise, to regain immediate listening comfort. A person with a severe hearing disability (who speaks sign language and/or lip-reading) will not feel any difference wearing AZUR or ORISON : he or she needs much more amplification on an atypical audiogram as well as regular follow-up over time to adapt to the hearing aid but also to adjust it to his or her feelings. Thus, if the pre-adjusted hearing aid is intended for individuals experiencing a simple hearing problem, the custom-made hearing aid is intended more for those who could not socialize without a hearing aid (90% of them are fitted).
• Difference : the price
In September 2015, UFC Que Choisir published a study entitled "Audioprothèses, un marché verrouillé au détriment des malentendants" (consultable here), in which it is underlined that the follow-up service, over 4 or 5 years, represents 40% of the total amount of the final price for traditional hearing aids. If this service is essential for a person with a severe hearing disability, it is not for a person with presbycusis : this same study underlines that few presbycusis users make use of their follow-up, for various reasons (they do not wear their hearing aid, they do not feel the need for follow-up, the hearing aid specialist has closed down, the user is deceased, etc.). A pre-adjusted hearing aid such as the AZUR or ORISON is sold without a follow-up service, betting on the perfect autonomy of the user.
• Difference : the setting
While a preset hearing aid has a setting specifically designed to compensate for presbycusis and is therefore suitable for millions of individuals in France and around the world, a custom-made hearing aid is, by definition, adjusted to the audiometric curve of the hearing impaired person fitted with the hearing aid and can therefore only be suitable for the latter.
• Difference : the distribution network
Available without a prescription, a pre-adjusted hearing aid can be sold everywhere (internet, pharmacists if the maximum amplification is limited to 20dB, opticians, department stores, electronics stores, paramedical stores, etc.). A custom-made hearing aid, on the other hand, can only be delivered on a medical prescription to be covered by the Social Security and can only be sold and adjusted by a hearing aid specialist.
Further informations :
Why such a difference in price between AZUR, ORISON and a traditional hearing aid ?
The production cost of a hearing aid is relatively low. As a general rule, the cost of raw materials and components is around 50€ per unit ; the final production cost is between 80€ and 250€ depending on the device's functionality. All along the resale chain (manufacturer, wholesaler, hearing aid specialist, final consumer), the price is subject to increases. For a mid-range custom hearing aid sold at 1,550€ per ear to the final consumer (a device that represented 80% of hearing aid sales in 2015), the final price is 5 times more expensive than the production cost.
Below : breakdown of the selling price of a hearing aid.
Source : UFC Que Choisir, based on data from Alcimed, Santéclair, Audika, Amplifon.
Price differences between a custom-made hearing aid and a pre-set hearing aid such as Orison :
|Composition of the selling price |
of a custom-made hearing aid
|Composition of the selling price|
of a preset hearing aid (AZUR / ORISON)
|Before the purchase|
|At the time of purchase|
The additional follow-up services are estimated at 8 hours of labor over 5 years for a bilateral hearing aid. They represent 40% of the total cost of the hearing aid and are mandatory to qualify for social security coverage.
Further informations :
Are the AZUR and ORISON hearing aids covered by a warranty ?
Yes, the AZUR (rechargeable digital mini-BTE) and ORISON (invisible digital CIC) hearing aids are covered by the 2-year legal warranty for defects in conformity and hidden defects. You can also - up to 60 days after the date of purchase of an Orison or Azur hearing aid - subscribe to a Sérénité warranty extension (Sérénité 1.1 or Sérénité 1.2).
How do I purchase an extended Sérénité warranty for the AZUR / ORISON hearing aid ?
• At the time of your purchase on www.seriniti.fr
When you purchase an AZUR or ORISON hearing aid on this website, you can add one of our Sérénité warranty extensions directly to your cart. The membership contract will then be attached to your order and the chosen warranty extension will take effect on the date of purchase shown on your global invoice (ORISON or AZUR hearing aid + warranty extension).
• After your purchase and receipt of your hearing aid
After the purchase of your AZUR or ORISON hearing aid, on this website or from one of our commercial partners, you have 60 days (from the purchase date mentioned on your hearing aid invoice) to subscribe to one of our Sérénité warranty extensions. The purchase of a warranty extension is done on this website, in the modalities explained above. The extended warranty will take effect on the date of purchase shown on the extended warranty invoice.
For any further information, contact us.
Is the CIC ORISON hearing aid rechargeable ?
No, the ORISON hearing aid is not rechargeable. there are 4 reasons for this :
- Rechargeable technology takes up space. It is therefore, to date, mainly available on BTE hearing aids. We want ORISON to remain small and discreet ;
- The rechargeable technology is not perfected in terms of autonomy. The hearing aid must be recharged every night, when a Rayovac Proline battery allows up to 6 days of autonomy for an ORISON hearing aid ;
- Rechargeable technology can decrease with use and lose 10% to 20% of its capacity in the first year of use ;
- Rechargeable technology has a cost : we do not wish to increase the selling price of ORISON.
However, you can opt for POWER ONE rechargeable batteries, have a look on our offer here.
Is the AZUR mini-BTE hearing aid rechargeable ?
Yes, AZUR is rechargeable. There are 2 reasons for this :
- The AZUR hearing aid is, by its nature (mini-BTE) larger than ORISON. It can therefore integrate rechargeable technology, which is why we did it ;
- The AZUR hearing aid has been specially designed for people with reduced manual dexterity, for whom it is easier to connect a hearing aid than to change a relatively small battery.
Why do all hearing aids look the same, regardless of the price ?
Not all hearing aids are the same : don't think that the outer shell of the hearing aid... is the hearing aid ! The quality of a hearing aid is linked to :
- To the on-board electronic components and in particular the microphone (which picks up the sounds) and the processor (which processes them). The on-board components of AZUR and ORISON are European. You will find similar components on much more expensive hearing aids. AZUR and ORISON are also CE certified ;
- The quality of the pre-setting of the device. The amplification of both AZUR and ORISON was developed by ENT doctors and specialized engineers. To this end, over 150,000 audiometric curves were initially synthesized into 7 distinct amplification programs. These programs were then tested for more than half a year so that only one could be selected and refined in the following six months before going into production. Since 2016, the ORISON hearing aid has undergone three major evolutions in its amplification, allowing it to become the success it is today. AZUR integrates the same amplification curve as ORISON, massively tested and approved by its users for many years.
As for the external shell of the ORISON hearing aid, it is - like all external shells of hearing aids, whether they are sold for 10€ or more than 2,000€ - produced in Hong Kong, in biomedical plastic. There are only 2 manufacturers of hearing aid shells in the region, which explains the similarity between many hearing aids, even though their selling price or technical characteristics differ widely.
Further informations :
- Discover our story
I wear an anti COVID mask and glasses : will ORISON / AZUR bother me ?
ORISON is a CIC hearing aid : it is positioned in the ear canal. Thus, it will not bother you, whether you wear short hair, glasses or an anti-COVID mask.
As AZUR is a device placed behind the ear (mini-BTE), it may bother you at the end of the day, with fatigue, glasses and/or the anti-COVID mask. You will also have to be careful when you remove your glasses or your mask. These considerations are a personal feeling of the user.
Where can I find the ORISON / AZUR hearing aid in my country ?
This website ensures sales in France and in the world. The shipping costs are offered.
For France, Noumea, Switzerland and Mauritius : we have commercial partners on the spot, consult the list here.
For France, you can also benefit from the possibility of home sales, thanks to our partnership with L'Opticien qui Bouge : find your local optician here.
For Europe, all our products are also available on :
- Amazon (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom) ;
- La Fnac (France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal).
For any further information, contact us.
Is the ORISON / AZUR user manual available in my language ?
I was the victim of a scam on Amazon, thinking i was buying an ORISON hearing aid, what should I do ?
On the 12th of April 2022, the situation has been regularized, there is no longer any illegal use of our trademarks on Amazon.
The warning below was edited on the 21st of March 2022. We leave it visible on our website, for the attention of those who would have been victims of unauthorized third party sellers on Amazon and who would like to know how to act.
We warn Internet users of an illegal use that occurred (from October 2021 to the 30th of March, 2022) of our registered trademarks, on the following Amazon marketplaces :
- AMAZON Italy,
- AMAZON Spain,
- AMAZON Germany,
- AMAZON Netherlands.
If, during this period of time, you purchased a SERINITI - ORISON product on one of these marketplaces, from a seller other than SERINITI, at a price other than the one we charge, be sure the device you received is not an ORISON hearing aid. We are sorry for that. We encourage you to :
- Claim your A-Z warranty directly to Amazon, in order to be refunded ;
- Report your complaint to Amazon, with photos, directly from your Amazon customer account ;
- Send us a email specifying your Amazon order number and accompanied by your Amazon invoice (seller's name visible on the top right), as well as photos of the hearing aid received ;
- Please be very careful when using this hearing aid, as it may not comply with basic safety standards (CE) and could cause damage to your hearing system.
We also encourage you to proceed in the same way if you have not received your Amazon order (we estimate that only 20% of orders are delivered by these sellers).
We assure our customers that SERINITI acts daily to fight against counterfeiting and illegal use of its brands, so that this situation ceases as soon as possible.