How to pick a hearing aid brand/type and dispenser?

Tom Staresinic as488 at freenet.carleton.ca
Sun Nov 19 07:45:28 EST 2000


There are so may choices of hearing aids. I don't know which one to choose.
Are there any consumer reports which pick out the best ones? How do you know
whether the hearing aid dispenser is competent and has made the correct
hearing choice and fit for you? If there are any good web sites with
unbiased info (i.e. not the websites of the hearing aid manufacturers)
please post the URLS. I already checked out
http://www.listen-up.org/specs.htm and http://www.listen-up.org/hear-aid.htm
and they were quite informative but I am still uncertain as to what type of
brand and model to insist from my dispenser.

For people with an audiogram (or whatever the test chart is called) which
shows severe hearing loss at high frequencies, are there any hearing aids of
the ITC (In-the-CHannel) size which work OK with such hearing loss? The
audiologist did the test and insists that ITC and CIC (completely in the
channel) type are unsuitable becaseu they are "not powerful enough" and that
"they will cause feedback/ringing" becasue the mic is so close to the
speaker. Is this true? Is the audioligt just trying to make his job easier
by suggesting a ITE becasue it will be easier for him to adjust and fit.
Some digital hearing aid pamphlets say that the aid is able to detect
feedback and ajust itself to prevent the ringing; Is this true and which
brands are best at this?

What is the main difference performance wise between the ITE type and the
ITC (full fills the ear) type? Is feedback/ringing  much less of a problem
with the ITE type shell? Since avoiding feedback requires a tight/good fit,
would it not be easier to get a tight fit using a smaller shell (CIC,ITC)
rather than a huge shell (ITE) ? i had an ITE type purchased 10 years ago
and never wore it becasue it often would have feedback/ringing; was it
becasue of a poor fit? Is a poor fit 100% the fault of the dispenser? Was it
becasue of poor hearing aid technology at the time? Does anyone expereince
feedback/ringing using the new prgrammable & digital type of hearing aids?

What is beter for people with pronounced hearing loss at high frequencies:
fully digital circuit or programmable (analog?) circuit?

TIA,
Tom









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