It seems to me there should not be no argument over whether it is mandatory to
use real ear to succesfully fit hearing aids.
If my memory serves me correctly, the latest Marketrak study revealed that only
64% of conventional hearing aid users are satisfied with their instruments.
This is not good. We can always boast about our 5-6% return rates, but the
bottom line is, more than 1/3 of our patients are not happy with their
instruments. This track record is not going to improve the present negative
word of mouth about hearing aids.
We owe it to our patients to conduct every possible outcome measure, whether it
be real ear, soundfield, subjective reports, and post-fitting questionaires
(i.e., APHAB). We also should be educating our patients about the superior
technology afforded by programmable and digital hearing instruments.
We live in an era of wonderful hearing aid fitting technology. I hope we are
past the days of simply asking our patients, "so how does that sound?"
Steven D. Sederholm