Q: Why do some people do so well with their hearing aids while others struggle?
A: Hearing aids are tools. Just like any tool, their effectiveness is dependent upon being used properly. It is the audiologist’s responsibility to program and adjust the hearing aids to accommodate the specific needs of the patient and challenges of the hearing loss. Unfortunately, the standard of care in this area is very low. For example, researchers have taught repeatedly that accurate programming requires taking sound measurements at the ear drum to assess what is actually being received by the wearer as opposed to what is being pumped out of the hearing aid. Surveys show that the vast majority of clinicians not only skip this crucial step, but many don’t even own the equipment to perform it. When unhappy patients come to us with hearing aids they received elsewhere, we perform this measurement and often see immediately what programming adjustments need to be made.