Oticon New Brain-Based Hearing Technology

March 25, 2015

Oticon’s new designRITE product line features the latest version of the Inium microchip’s brain-based hearing technology. These receiver-in-the-canal style hearing instruments use the innovative Youmatic  system. Youmatic is an interactive question and answer process that addresses each patient’s cognitive abilities, sound perception and listening needs. The complex algorithm analyzes the information to provide a customized hearing aid response. This results in improved audibility and understanding in all listening environments.

Coming Soon: Jeff Grama’s Evaluation of the new Oticon Alta 2™, which is built on the new Inium Sense platform and incorporates brain-based hearing technology.


5 things we do to make sure choosing the best hearing devices for you is a satisfying experience

February 13, 2015

Attractive senior business man relaxing.

#1: FREE 45-Day Trial with NO upfront costs: On your good credit, not even a deposit is required!

#2: Our customer service promise: We promise you will be treated warmly, cordially and attentively each time you visit our office… and you will feel comfortable and relaxed.

#3: We will choose the best hearing instruments for you based on your budget, lifestyle and type of hearing loss: We pretest all of the leading manufacturers’ hearing aids when first introduced to determine what type of hearing loss each is most suited for. This allows us to easily select the make and model that will work best for you.

#4: Free follow-up visits: You may have questions during the free trial period and wish to visit us. Come in once, twice or more! There is no charge and you will always see Jeff Grama, our audiologist. (Please make an appointment so he has adequate time to address your needs.)

#5: Returning the instruments is easy: Nearly all of our patients are thrilled with our hearing aid trial program and purchase the devices they try, but there is no penalty for deciding not to buy. What is important is that you made an attempt!

Our Pledge to You

Your life will change dramatically when you begin wearing your new hearing instruments. Because your devices will be correctly fitted and properly programmed, you will rapidly get accustomed to wearing them and find them easy to use. You will be amazed at how your hearing aids reopen the world of sound and restore pleasure to your life. Sooner than you might think, daily use of your instruments will be as routine as putting on a pair of glasses or placing your car keys in your pocket. And, chances are, most people won’t realize you’re wearing them! 

Keep Your Hearing Instruments Up to Date

August 5, 2014

Could Your Hearing Instruments Perform Better?

Your hearing instruments were programmed using the latest version of software available when you first received them. During the lifespan of all products, however, the manufacturers continually develop ways of making them perform better. These improvements are sent to us via the Internet as upgrades of the programming software.

So, it’s important for you to visit our office regularly to get these updates. At each appointment, we will clean and check your units to make sure that they are working properly. Then, in a minute or two, we’ll input any software improvements into your instruments and assistive listening devices.

Changes to your lifestyle may require program modifications to improve your ability to hear in certain situations. For example, if you have begun to attend L.A. Philharmonic concerts, a program can be added to heighten your enjoyment of symphonic music.

I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with long-time patient “George F.” During the visit, he expressed concern that his hearing had diminished and told me his hearing aids were “not that good anymore.”

When I examined his instruments, I found the earmold tubing had hardened and the microphone filters were plugged with debris. After cleaning the units and changing the tubing and mic filters, I placed the hearing aids in his ears, and he could not believe how much clearer my voice sounded.

George mentioned he had joined a singing group at his church, and I suggested that we add a music program to his hearing aids. After doing his software upgrade, George treated me to an entertaining rendition of “Old Man River” from the musical Showboat.

Had George come in for regular check-ups, he would have avoided the frustration he experienced. I recommend that you make an appointment to see me (or a local audiologist, if you reside outside of the greater los Angeles area) every six months. This will ensure that your hearing aids continue to function as designed and programmed. Jeff

Reading Your Audiogram

January 23, 2014

The basic hearing examination is a measure of the softest sounds your ears can perceive, also called the threshold of hearing. The audiogram is a graphic display of these hearing thresholds that paints a picture of your hearing ability. All test results are graphed on the audiogram, with frequency (pitch) increasing from left to right, and intensity (loudness) increasing from top to bottom. Red circles represent the right ear’s response, and blue X’s show the left ear results.



Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz) and is tested in a range from low (like the sound of a foghorn) to high (similar to the sound of crickets). Each vertical line represents a different and discrete frequency value or tone (a single musical note).

Intensity (Hearing Level)

Intensity is measured in decibels (dB). A response at the uppermost portion of the graph (at zero) indicates the patient was able to hear the softest sound the testing machine could make. The further down the audiogram a mark appears, the greater the degree of hearing loss.

In the audiogram on page one, each O or X on the test form corresponds to the softest sounds heard at the testing frequency. For example, the O at 500 Hz shows that the right ear heard a sound at 50 dB. The X at 500 Hz appears at 60 dB, indicating slightly worse hearing in that ear at the same frequency.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

Hearing is classified on a continuum from normal to profound hearing loss. Our sample audiogram shows a moderate hearing loss in the right ear and a moderate to severe loss in the left.

Additional Testing

Speech discrimination is a measure of how well an individual understands single words when tested at his or her comfortable listening level with no background noise. Speech discrimination scores generally reflect how well the patient will understand conversation when wearing hearing aids.


Uncomfortable loudness testing determines the maximum loudness levels that your ears can tolerate without experiencing pain. Each ear is tested using both speech and tones. The intensity of each sound is gradually increased until the patient deems it uncomfortably loud. The audiologist uses information from these tests when programming hearing aids to ensure patient comfort in all listening situations.

What Do You Do When Your Hearing Aid Stops Working?

December 28, 2011

Hearing aids follow Murphy’s Rules of Reasoning. That is, when something is going to go wrong, it will happen at the most inopportunetime. However, there are some simple things you can do when your hearing aid doesn’t seem to work properly.

The most common reason a hearing aid will not work is that it’s plugged with earwax or other debris. A plug of wax will prevent the sound from escaping from the speaker port of an in-the-ear aid or the earmold of a behind-the-ear aid, and you’ll think the aid is dead.  However, you can remove the wax plug with the brush or wax loop that came with your hearing aids. If you don’t have cleaning tools, you can use the pointed end of a straight pin to gently dig the wax out.

For those of you who have in-the-ear hearing aids that have wax guard filters installed, the cleaning process is slightly different. The filters are the tiny white plugs that fit into the end of the hearing aid that you insert into your ear canal. Replacement filters are in a 2-inch by 3-inch white or gray packet. When you snap open the top of the packet, you’ll find some black sticks.

Remove one of the sticks and you’ll notice a small white piece on the tip. This is the replacement filter. Take out the old filter with the flattened end of the black stick by pushing it into the old filter and pulling it straight out of the aid. Then, flip over the stick and gently slide the replacement filter into the spot the plugged filter occupied. Usually, this is all that it takes to get your instrument functioning again.

For behind-the-ear users, the problem is often a moisture plug inside of the tubing where the tube inserts into the earmold. You can break the moisture bubble by holding the upper portion of the aid firmly where the earmold tubing attaches to your instrument. Shake it two or three times, as if you were shaking down an old-fashioned thermometer. This force will usually break the moisture bubble and you’ll be back in business.

Of course, if these remedies don’t work, please call (323) 463-7109) or e-mail our office. We’re always ready to help.