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Phonak Smart Guards problems when flying
November 3, 2013
6:55 am
Chris Carr
Cambridge , Peterborough & Saffron Walden
Forum Posts: 185
Member Since:
March 25, 2012
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I have recently seen a client who reported a problem when traveling by plane using his latest Phonak ITC instruments fitted with Smart Guard wax traps.
What he found on each occasion was that the sound faded significantly during the flight and for a period after. when he exchanged the aids for his old ones – problem solved – clearly indicating that the new aids were affected by the pressure change during the flight. I suspect this is due to the Smart Guard wax traps causing an air lock effect within the cavity between the receiver and Smart Guard membrane.
If this has been experienced by any other Phonak ITC users it would be helpful to know in order to feed this back to Phonak and also to advise clients who travel by plane.
The quickest solution I can suggest is to carry a set of replacement Smart Guards to change on the aids if and when this problem is experienced.

November 3, 2013
4:19 pm
Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Forum Posts: 168
Member Since:
March 25, 2012
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I have experienced similar problems with smartguards (albeit only amounting to 4 clients) although not connected with flying. These clients found that after a few hours wear the sound faded, removing the aid and leaving for a number of hours, although not practical, resolved the problem. One of my rather more savvy clients took a picture with his iphone and it clearly showed the smartgaurd had become convex in shape – dome shape in case anyone is struggling. The solution was to exchange it for a HF3 filter problem never occurred again. This has been repeated since with a number of clients each time the issue was resolved. Swiss counterparts had “never had any issues with smartguards” and could not suggest a solution. I believe with certain combination of ear shapes and configuration of aid the ear temp is slightly raised above the norm and causes the air cavity in the receiver tube to warm up causing the smartguard to be raised by the expanding air. This then inhibits the efficacy of the smartguard? HF3 no issue as it is gauze rather than membrane.


November 19, 2013
9:19 pm
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
March 25, 2012
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I too have heard this week from a client saying that everything went a lot quieter flying last week.
I put it down to pressure changes in her ear, so this is very interesting.

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