Ashland Audiology promises to provide hearing aid fittings based on the most current evidenced-based protocols.
We follow the ethical guidelines of all the audiology professional affiliations including the American Academy of Audiology, The Academy of Doctors of Audiology, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and The Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association. When we recommend hearing aids we adhere to the following protocol: hearing aid evaluation and selection, the fitting and orientation of the hearing aid, an electroacoustic analysis, and finally a speech mapping verification and validation assessment to determine outcome benefits.
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection is the time spent determining communication needs and lifestyle. This session will help find the most appropriate hearing aid system at the most reasonable cost. There are literally thousands of different kinds of hearing aids from which to choose. There are many manufacturers and styles of hearing aids, as well as levels of hearing aid technology. We will use the information provided at the evaluation to help select the hearing aid that most appropriately suits the individual patient. Ultimately, the final decision on which hearing aid to purchase is the wearer’s.
Hearing aid fitting and orientation is the time spent programming the hearing aid to meet the wearer’s needs. We provide instructions on the care and use of the hearing aid. We make sure the new hearing aid wearer is able to put the hearing aid in the ear and remove it, learns how to change the batteries and is familiar with cleaning and caring for the hearing aid.
Before the hearing aid fitting and orientation we perform an electroacoustic analysis on the hearing aid. The purpose is to know that all the features of the hearing aids are working properly. We assess the directional microphones, noise reduction features, feedback reduction program, telephone coils and other features as necessary. This may include wireless systems such as a phone clip, remote microphone or TV listening streamer.
Speech mapping verification helps determine that the settings programmed into the hearing aid are appropriate based on clinical research and evidence. Speech mapping provides a valuable tool for the audiologist. It allows markedly improved accuracy in the verification and fitting of hearing aids. Speech mapping permits the audiologist to adjust the parameters of a hearing aid to optimize speech audibility while avoiding loudness discomfort. Speech mapping reduces the need for fine-tuning adjustments and ultimately leads toward a more successful fitting.
Validation measures are used to assess and document hearing aid benefit. We use such tools as the Client Orientated Scale of Improvement (COSI) and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB). In both assessments patients report the amount of trouble they are having with communication or noises in various everyday situations. Benefit is calculated by comparing the patient’s reported difficulty in the unaided condition with their amount of difficulty in the aided condition.