Emily is at Accura Audiology. She is talking with Dr. Mike Schmidt, doctor of audiology about programming of hearing aids. Sometimes people don’t know about the programming of these devices. Dr. Mike Schmidt says there is great variability out there and not only hearing technology but then also even when you get really really good hearing aids there is a variability in how you can program those. It is really important to get that programming as precise and accurate as possible, so the person is achieving the best results possible.
He says one area that is often neglected, is programming and they have specialized means of verifying the results of hearing aides and it is essential. He says he knows it’s not the most exciting topic in the world but if you are getting hearing aides or have hearing aides it is the most important thing to hear about this. It is something called real ear verification and one thing that audiologists and other dispensers might do with hearing aides is program hearing aids, based on hearing loss and they’ll get some hearing loss results from the hearing test and then they will put some numbers in and program hearing aides based on that and put it in the person’s ear and make some finer adjustments beyond that. He says what you’re missing then is that real ear performance; what is going on in that person’s ear canal; how is their ear canal changing the sound that their hearing aide is giving them?
Dr. Schmidt says a good way to look at it is, you could have the same hearing loss as me and we could have the same hearing aids, set exactly the same way but if we to measure sound down right at our ear drums it might be markedly different because your ear canal might be shorter, it might have some bends in it, it might be wider. He says all these traits change the acoustics inside a person’s canal. He says he can’t understate the importance of identifying those differences and then applying those changes to the hearing aide.
Why should you see a hearing specialist as opposed to just buying them? Dr. Schmidt says just recently laws have been passed to allow for over-the-counter hearing aids and sensory neuro hearing loss which is the most common type of hearing loss which is due to physical damage in the sensory organ of the ear, the cochlea. He says that is a very complicated loss to treat. It’s not just making things louder. He says you want your hearing aids to be worn in any situation you go in everyday, so you are not uncomfortable; so that you don’t have to take them out for different reasons. That’s why you want to see a professional so they can program everything perfectly for you for your lifestyle and so you can wear them from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed and not even think about it.
For more information you can go to their website, accuraaudiology.com by clicking here or you can give them a call at 716-HEAR (4327)