Setting a Hearing Aid for Your Hearing LossMarc Brennan, Ph.D., CCC-AAudiologist, Director of Amplification and Perception Lab
I’m going to show you how it is that we look at how well someone can hear with their hearing aids. What I have showing here is a figure, lower pitch sounds are shown to the left and then higher pitched sounds are to the right. Volume is shown by going up on the graph so louder sounds are higher on the figure. Someone with normal hearing falls, roughly, where this dash line is. They can hear anything that is plotted above that dash line. Then I have this little hatched area that is shown and that’s for someone who is talking in a normal voice. Now, I have someone with a hearing loss shown with this blue line. For that person, they can hear anything that’s plotted above that blue line. They can hear these low-pitched sounds here but nothing above that and that’s a problem. So, for this child, we want to take this hatched area and move it up so they can hear it.
After we’ve determined how sound goes into that child’s ear, we take this hearing aid and attach it to this coupler. What happens here is, this coupler has a microphone attached to it, and so it measures how loud the sound is after it goes through the hearing aid. I put the hearing aid down here and we’ve got speakers in here and the speakers play the speech sound that I’m going to show to you. We shut this box and then we play the speech.
“A carrot is long reddish, yellow”
Now we’re playing the speech and we’re measuring how loud it is as it goes into that child’s hearing aid. What we want to do is just basically turn the volume of the hearing aid up so they can hear it. Once we’ve done that, then we get a plot that looks like this, where we’ve taken the white hatched area, through the hearing aid making speech louder now, as loud as what’s shown in this purple hatched area.
That’s how we can determine that the hearing aid is set appropriately for that person’s hearing loss.
To enjoy the benefits of a hearing aid the device must be set to your specific hearing needs. Marc Brennan, Ph.D., CCC-A., audiologist with Boys Town National Research Hospital, explains how a hearing aid is set for your hearing loss.