Strategies of adult hearing aid selection
AbstractThere is little doubt that the most helpful treatment for persons with hearing impairment are personal amplification instruments – better known as hearing aids. For more than 40 years I have marveled at the evolution of hearing aids and the concurrent development of various fitting procedures. The advances in personal amplification to help those with hearing loss have been nothing less than amazing. During these four decades, we have moved from simple basic analog hearing aids fit through subjective behavioral assessments to fitting today’s advanced digital devices through computerized and automated protocols. Reflective of those early years, there were substantial differences between the various manufacturers’ hearing aid products and it was, accordingly, necessary for patients to listen and judge between a number of hearing aid choices to select the device that sounded best to them. In more recent years, however, all digital hearing aids generally provide appropriate output, gain and frequency responses to fit nearly any person’s hearing loss regardless of degree or threshold configuration. In fact, the numerous specialized features of today’s modern hearing aids have expanded utilization of personal amplification far beyond anyone’s expectations. Unfortunately, the technologies of new hearing aids always arrive far earlier and faster than our abilities to develop accurate fitting methods for our patients – a statement that is true even today...
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