Hearing aids are not like glasses. I sometimes wish they were. I cannot measure your hearing and derive a prescription that will “correct” your hearing. Audiologists and auditory scientists have tried for many years to find the key, the magic formula that will work for everyone. They have yet to find the key, and I believe it’s because of a factor that characterizes nearly all auditory research. That factor is individual variability. Two people can have exactly the same audiogram (hearing test results) but require significantly different hearing aid adjustments. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
This is a factor that I can’t over emphasize. Sometimes I see a person who tells me “Joe Schmoe, my neighbor, got brand X, style Z and he really likes them. Can I get brand X in the Z style?” Sometimes I can say, “Yes, I think that would be appropriate.” Other times I have to say, “No, we should try style A for you, and here’s why…”
So the fitting of a hearing aid is not an exact science. You need the services of an experienced audiologist who has lots of training and experience fitting hearing aids. You could order an internet hearing aid and get “okay” results. I worked with someone recently who wanted to compare the hearing aids he got online with the ones I provided, so he did. After a couple of weeks he decided to keep the ones I fit on him and send the internet aids back, even though the ones I fit on him were more expensive.
So what does an audiologist do to ensure the best possible hearing? Come back and check out part 2 next week.