Hearing Aid Technologies: Optimizing the listening experience of individuals with hearing loss

Enhanced speech recognition has been a primary goal of hearing aid provision since their invention. However, clinically and in research we have often focused on a single listening environment for which there is a single talker of interest directly in front of the listener. Effects of hearing loss and hearing aid processing on a wide range of factors that affect the listening experience will be considered in this presentation. Factors of interest include speech recognition in complex environments, real world localization needs, sound quality, listening effort and listening fatigue, overhearing, and the emotional effect of sound. Some measurement techniques and implications for how signal processing may affect individual factors will be explored. Efforts to individually optimize hearing aid fittings based on these data will also be described.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe an unaided patient ability that is related to the magnitude of bilateral hearing aid benefit.
  2. Describe which clinical factors are potentially related to hearing aid microphone preference.
  3. Describe one way hearing aid use counselling might be modified to enhance use of specific hearing aid technologies.