With regards to your dilemma re: one programmable WDRC aid vs. two linear
aids, there are several unknown variables we must consider before giving
you any advice...
First of all, are we talking ITCs or CICs for this person? You have
indicated that she will not wear an ITE aid...
Secondly, what is the degree and configuration of this person's hearing
loss? Is it a flat moderate loss, or are we talking precipitous high
frequency loss? Or, perhaps there is a conductive component?
As well, what are the communicative difficulties...is she mainly having
problems in noise, or problems in quiet, or does she only want a hearing
aid so that her family will quit complaining about the tv being too loud?
It has been my experience that WDRC aids provide the most benefit for those
with flat moderate losses...if this is the case, then perhaps your patient
will benefit from such a device. I guess you should also ask yourself if
there are in fact definite tolerance problems involved....if so, then
again, the WDRC should be appropriate. It doesn't sound like the case, but
is this person an experienced hearing aid wearer? If so, WDRC may not go
over too well, particularly if the person is an experienced linear wearer.
If your patient is having the most difficulty in noise, and if this is the
situation that they are focusing on, then WDRC probably won't go over too
well, especially if it is a monaural fitting. Then perhaps your patient
would benefit the most from a binaural fitting, for the binaural "squelch"
effect. But on the other hand, linear circuitry may be a problem if there
are tolerance issues.
Another option which you may consider is a binaural fitting of conventional
Finally, with respect to the degree of the loss, will your patient get
enough gain from a monaural fitting of an ITC aid without feedback issues?
All things considered, if cosmetics are an issue, you may have to revert to
a binaural linear ITC fitting just to get the gain requirements...
Just some factors to consider.
Kimberly A. Eskritt, M.Cl.Sc., Reg CASLPO