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programmable hearing aids

Jeffrey Sirianni sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
Mon Jul 3 12:57:33 EST 1995

In article <3t51d7$8np at news.bu.edu>, simonson at bu.edu (Andrea Simonson) says:
>I'd like some opinions on programmable hearing aids.  Are they worth
>their cost?  Do patients report utilizing multiple settings?  Are
>patients more or less satisfied with them than with comparable, 
>less expensive hearing aids?  Any recommended references about them?
>--andrea simonson

Since there are so many different types of programmable hearing aids, it
is difficult to answer this question directly.  Programmable aids all have
a similar feature in that they can be programmed via the use of a computer
program of programming device (versus trimpots).  Some have multiple settings,
and others still have separate programmable bands.

My opinion on programmable aids is that they are easier to fit than conventional
hearing aids.  The audiologist has finer control of response settings.

In terms of multiple settings, I feel that it is up to the patient to decide. If
the patient needs different settings for different listening conditions, then it
may be advantageous to invest in a multiple setting programmable hearing aid.  A
previous thread on this newsgroup discussed the advantages and disadvantges of many
settings (ie. 8 in 3M MultiPro).  My guess is to talk with the patient concerning
daily activities before suggesting how many settings to get.  The trouble that I see
is that any multiple setting aid (greater than 1 setting) costs considerably more
than one with only one setting.  Most patients will listen in at least 2 settings,
those being in quiet (ie. 1-on-1 conversation, televison, dinner table) and in
moderate amounts of background noise (ie. restaurants, meetings).  A programmable
with 2 settings would accommodate such a user.  Hopefully the price between single
and multiple settings will decrease so that more than 1 setting can be offered without
a large increase in price.

Jeff Sirianni     @(((<{
University of Texas at Austin
Communication Sciences and Disorders
CMA, 2nd Floor Clinic
Austin, TX  78712-1089
sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
jgsaudio at aol.com

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