Hearing aids styles (see above) at Tracy James Hearing are chosen first and foremost on the level and type of hearing loss and the size or shape of the ear. Our aim is that the hearing aid(s) provide optimum audibility and comfort, and that you and/or your child is happy with how the hearing aid looks and fits in the ear.
Other factors that influence choice include:
- Robustness of the aid (e.g. waterproofing)
- Compatibility with other devices, e.g. FM systems, telecoil
- Dexterity of user, health and lifestyle
For children, other factors are also important to consider:
- Colours and patterns that are available
- Tamperproof battery drawers
- Visible indicators (e.g. lights to show when the hearing aid is switched on)
- Paediatric hooks for the ear
- Approval by the national paediatric hearing aid quality group (British Academy of Audiology).
All hearing aids are verified using real ear measurements, as recommended by the British Society of Audiology (BSA). This procedure ensures that the hearing aid prescription is being reached in the ear, by measuring the output of the hearing aid using a probe microphone and a speaker.
As everyone’s ear is different, sound behaves differently when it enters the ear. A real ear measurement allows the audiologist to fine tune the gain of the hearing aid so that it amplifies appropriately. Think of it as buying a tailor-made suit rather than a suit off the shelf! In children there is even greater variation in ear size, and as they grow – making this measurement even more important.
Speech and aided listening checks can be used in clinic to evaluate the hearing aid effectiveness, along with a detailed evaluation by the audiologist.