Self fitting hearing aids are relatively new product that has only recently appeared in the American marketplace. You can think of them as the ultimate do-it-yourself hearing healthcare project and as an extension of our ever increasingly complex but self-reliant technology-based world.
Warning: Hearing loss may be a symptom of a serious health issue. Only a trip to a professional will diagnose the root cause of hearing loss.
What Are Self Fitting Hearing Aids?
As the name suggests they are basically sound amplifying devices that you the user, install and fine tune yourself. You are provided a means to program the hearing aids how you prefer they should sound. Often a smart phone app is the interface. Then you can optimize them for different hearing environments such as home, outdoors, or restaurant mode. You become your own technician and audiologist all-in-one by determining the different gain and filtering settings etc. that sound be to you.
Custom ear moulds are not an option for self fitting hearing aids.
Do Self Fitting Hearing Aids Work?
The performance of the self fitting hearing aids comes down to three factors. The first is the user’s ability to program the hearing aid accurately to match their needs. Based on studies, this can be somewhat hit or miss. There is an expectation that the DIY hearing aid user is somewhat tech savvy to install and operate the apps required for programming. Additionally, they will require good manual dexterity to work with the small buttons and parts.
The second factor for user satisfaction comes down to quality of the components. Prices range from the inexpensive hundreds of dollars and up. It is a bit hard to believe that the audio quality from a hearing aid will match of a latest generation name brand hearing aid for one reason. Cost. When an over-the-counter hearing aid retails for the same prices as the cost of the components that make up a name brand hearing aid, quality is a bit of a concern.
The third factor is support. Any user or technical programming questions are answered via phone or online. The user has to be prepared to invest time communicating with a company remotely and be self reliant using vendor websites to solve technical issues.
Polo Park Hearing Centre’s Continuous Care Guarantee ensures our clients never have to go without hearing again.
Who can benefit from self fitting hearing aids?
In the studies people with mild to moderate hearing loss made up all of the participants in both the control and test groups. This suggests that there is a specific range of hearing loss that self fitting hearing aids can be used for.
In general, the target market for self fitting hearing aids would likely be someone with limited financial means and no health insurance. After all, there are millions of Americans suffering with hearing loss and for some any solution may be better than no solution.
There really is no substitute for experience. The do-it-yourself method simply cannot expect to approach the same level of care as a qualified audiologist or hearing aid instrument specialist with years of experience fitting thousands of people. Any specific hearing difficulty that is slightly off the norm could benefit from that knowledge to program the hearing aids optimally. After all, self fitting hearing aids are engineered to work for the average person with typical hearing loss. They can not cater to special requirements.
It should be noted that some people may have a tendency to over amplify sounds with excessively high settings. This could have the potential to do more damage to their hearing over time.
What Happens When the Hearing Aids Break?
It is one thing to install a new pair of hearing aids in perfect working condition versus troubleshooting a pair of hearing aids that is now causing problems. That is where years of experience and having the right tools comes into play. More importantly, what does the hearing aid wearer do their hearing aids do not work? Send them off in the mail and wait several weeks for repair? Or wait for the arrival of a new pair? Not a great outcome.
Service Makes the Difference
With all of our hearing aid purchases each customer is automatically covered by our Continuous Care Guarantee. Our pledge to our customers is that we will provide continuous hearing health care through and beyond the warranty of your hearing aids and hearing assistive devices. Click the link to read more about the Continuous Care Guarantee.
Questions About Self Fitting Hearing Aids?
Whether you are a do it yourself type person or not, we are always open to answering anyone's questions about hearing health. To hear what you have been missing, feel free to call us at (204) 788-1083 or contact us online. Thanks for reading!