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Audiology Associates Explains New Hearing Aid Protocol in Honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month
Date:4/29/2013

to offer, but the ear is just one part of the human body’s complex auditory system. Adapting devices to fit patients’ individual needs requires fine tuning from an experienced audiologist trained to recognize the indicators of effective and ineffective treatment.

“The new hearing protocol we offer at Audiology Associates is designed with the primary goal of catering to each patient’s individual hearing needs. People who have lived with hearing loss for extended periods of times often forget what hearing clearly sounds and feels like. Advanced hearing tests like pitch matching and loudness balancing, and extensive, patient-centered interviews with our audiologists help determine the level of hearing loss and best treatment for the individual.

It is common practice for audiologists that offer amplification hearing aids to conduct hearing tests, and to then send the test results to the hearing aid manufacturer for custom fitting, or to base the fitting on the manufacturer software. The problem with this practice is that these ‘first fits’ are based on averages, and the patient’s auditory system, at this point in their treatment, has not yet had a chance to relearn what it is like to hear a full spectrum of sound.

“Although counterintuitive, as hearing loss develops, individuals become less sensitive to soft sounds, and more sensitive to loud sounds. At Audiology Associates, we conduct tests to measure soft sounds, comfortable sounds, and loud sounds. Then with the unadjusted, ‘new’ hearing aid device in the patient’s ear we tune it to make sure we are making soft sounds audible, while simultaneously preventing loud sounds from becoming too loud, and enabling speech to remain at a comfortable level. While the manuf
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