Q: What’s the most important feature to look for in a hearing aid?
A: There are many features available in today’s hearing aids: directional microphones, noise reduction, whistle control, wireless connectivity, etc. But the most important “feature” of a hearing aid is who’s doing the programming. A digital hearing aid is only as good as its programming. A basic hearing aid, programmed very well, can outperform a top-of-the-line hearing aid with mediocre programming. Our practice uses surround sound technology to simulate real-world environments and special microphones placed next to the eardrum (real-ear microphones) to ensure that the hearing aids are programmed to perform at the best of their ability for your particular hearing loss. This is the gold standard of hearing aid programming. Unfortunately, although it’s been the gold standard for years, most practices still do not use this technology. Instead, they rely on your feedback and estimations provided in the hearing aid software to program the hearing aids. It’s faster and easier that way – but it almost always leaves room for improvement.
Answered by Dr. Matt Perry, Au.D. – audiologist and owner of Harmony Hearing & Audiology, located in Festival at Bel Air, 5 Bel Air S Pkwy, Ste. 1411, Bel Air, MD 21015 – (410)569-5999