How Hearing Aids are Programmed

Your hearing aid should gel to your ears and yours alone, taking into account your existing hearing capabilities. Thus, no two hearing aids are exactly alike because everyone has customized features that are dependent on the specific degree of hearing loss, comfort level and other personal considerations will. This is why you must have your hearing aid programmed to your ears rather than take a one-size fits all approach. This process is performed by a certified audiologist. Just like you wouldn’t fit any lenses into your frames without the help of an ophthalmologist, you’ll have to get your hearing aid programmed by an audiologist.

Programming Hearing Aids

The hearing aids of today are able to help with noise reduction and feedback reduction algorithms. You’ll find that several doctors use a surround sound system in order to simulate real noise from the outside environment and make adjustments based on feedback in real time. This surround sound system approach, while it can simulate crowd noises and help the doctor adjust noise reduction factors, is valuable too because it offers unparalleled troubleshooting capabilities. A hearing aid, with the ability to be customized to the individual, must incorporate real ear measurements, as well as visual mapping and environmental simulations. Real-ear probe microphones, which pick on the sounds that are hitting the eardrum, assists the doctor in more accurately programming the device. Visible speech mapping (VSM) shows how various sounds of speech hit the eardrum and process sound, a state of the art alternative to traditional measurements. Your doctor should have access to the right hardware, software and cables to connect to the hearing aid so the programming process can be a success. While some people actually know how to program their own hearing aids, this can be an expensive way to go about it. Plus, you could be doing yourself a disservice if you attempt it yourself. See a professional instead.

What Factors can be Adjusted?

Audiologists take many components into account when they program your hearing aid, prompting them to adjust anything from volume, frequency and intensity levels, to compression ratios, maximum output of power and noise reduction. They can also incorporate microphone usage. For example, doctors can tweak a setting that’s just too sensitive to noise so the user feels the most comfortable. You’ll also be glad to know that many devices can also filter out the din of background noise.

Processing Time

Older hearing devices were pretty easy to operate and adjust, typically with just a screwdriver. Now you’re able to personalize hundreds of elements within digital hearing aids to match the hearing needs of the individual. Programming depends on various subjective preferences thanks to a thorough hearing evaluation. Adjustments often happen on an ongoing basis as the user troubleshoots preferences in the real world. You wouldn’t just buy a mattress or a car without trying it out first, right? Same with hearing aids. Users may return to the office with suggestions on what they would like to incorporate. The brain can’t immediately adjust to the new sounds emitted by the device. This is why much time is needed to evaluate different listening situations, such as crowd noise that you just can’t achieve in an office setting. Digital hearing aids are the best option available today, thanks to this innovative trouble shooting approach.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 at 11:48 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions, LLC provides hearing evaluations and tinnitus evaluations to patients in Ellicott City, Columbia, Catonsville, Baltimore, Sykesville and all of Howard, Carroll and Baltimore County. Contact Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions, LLC at 410-698-6594 to schedule a tinnitus evaluation or hearing evaluation.

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