Hearing Aid Fitting Technology
A complete line of hearing aids is available. Hearing devices may be ordered from many manufacturers. However, three of the leading manufacturers are usually utilized. These include Siemens Hearing Instruments, ReSound Corporation (utilizing technology from AT&T Laboratories), Phonak, and other top manufacturers. Custom earmolds, including musican earmolds, are ordered from Westone Laboratories.
All of the hearing devices fit by Dr. Lowe are programmable using a computer. Programmable devices offer much more flexibility when compared to conventional hearing aids. The more sophisticated hearing aids utilize full dynamic range compression. The purpose of this technology is to make soft speech sounds audible, while keeping loud annoying sounds comfortable. Also, programmable aids may be reprogrammed if hearing changes, and some devices can store different programs for various listening conditions. The most recent digital hearing aids are also available and fully programmable through the computer. Most of these hearing aids come with directional microphones to reduce unwanted sounds from behind the patient as in noisy restaurants. The newer aids also incoporate noise reduction technology to reduce nosie in general.
Dr. Lowe has been using NOAH3 software on his computer. The hearing aid industry has decided to make NOAH3 the industry standard database software to use with various manufacturers. The manufacturers supply software modules that interface with NOAH3 so that the same fitting hardware may be used with each manufacturer.
Dr. Lowe also uses the Verifit real ear hearing aid analyzer to check the response of the hearing aids in the patients’s ears. Speechmapping technology using recorded and live speech is utilized to observe how well the amplified speech spectrum matches established targets to maximize speech intelligibility. This technology helps ensure that family and friends’ voices are audible.