"Hearing Aids for Dummies"?

I am grateful to the professionals and experienced hearing aid users who generously answer questions asked on this forum.

However, is there any published book or website that explains hearing aid specifications in more detail, sort of like a “Hearing Aids for Dummies” book that would discuss things like the meaning of the different graphs hearing aid manufacturers use in their specifications, e.g. 2cc coupler, OSPL 90, Ear Simulator, meaning of reference text gain, distortion, equivalent input noise, frequency range specifications, bands vs. channels etc.)

Perhaps one of the professionals on this forum could recommend a textbook used for a college class on “Hearing Aids 101.”

On a related issue, it would be good if hearing aid manufacturers would explain in more detail their different features and what they actually do. It seems that there is a lot of jargon used that is not standardized among different hearing aid manufacturers or explained on their websites or in their literature. For example, one hearing aid company might list in the features of a particular model that it has an “Environment Optimizer” or a “Speech Guard” or a “Wind Noise Monitor” or “Auto-comfort in noise.” What do these things actually do to the frequencies the hearing aid is providing? And do I actually want or need those features enabled on my hearing aids? Another company would use different jargon, perhaps for the same features.

I like to be an educated consumer, and study details of a product before I buy it, whether it is a car, computer, or hearing aid.

Any thoughts?

you can learn a whole lot of stuff here FREE unless you want the CEU’s.

If you want definitions or descriptions for most of the terms you asked about it’s no more complicated than putting each into Google and going through the results that come up until you find one that offers a decent explanation.

Manufacturers features and benefits are a little less straightforward. But if you ask the professional you’re working with about them he should either be able to explain what the feature means or ask his rep with that manufacturer for an explanation. Some are marketing fluff, some are real.

With that said, advanced knowledge of these topics isn’t likely to translate to a better hearing aid experience for you. Selecting the right professional to work with is going to have a significantly greater impact on your results.

You may find this useful:

Thanks for asking this! I feel the same way about the manufacturer’s sites. Like someone else said some if it is fluff. And some of it comes down to being proprietary information. It seems to me that most of it comes down to programming, so it’s a lot like trying to compare the Windows operating system to Mac’s OS or Linux. They’ll all accomplish the same thing (or should) but some work better for certain types of people.

I totally agree with the OP. From my Oticon Agil brochure:

Spatial Sound 2.0 - This technology supports the brain’s natural process of understanding speech. You will never be bombarded with a “wall of sound.” Instead, you’ll be able to hear the voices that are speaking to you, and shift attention to other voices as you choose.

Speech Guard - Only Agil offers the ability to follow conversations so naturally and immediately. The device works in harmony with your brain to recognize natural speech cues and keep competing voise or voices from distracting you, giving you a sense of quiet clarity.

These two paragraphs look like different ways of saying the same thing and don’t detail what makes them different features. :confused:

All these companies pay technical writers a lot of money to come up with all the fluff to make their products stand out from the competition. The are real good at writing jargon. Minn. HIS has the best advice: Google your questions and you will have enough reading material to keep you busy for a while.

After reading the subject title I went to www.dummies.com to see if a book about HL is in that series. Unfortunately, there is not. I will shop on Amazon to see what they have. But no matter what information I gain I will trust my audiologist because he has over 20 years of experience and does not work for a hearing aid manufacturer.

It is difficult because each manufacturer like using their own terminology for what they see as their best features.

For example, I did some searching to help in another thread. Apparently, Phonak does not use the commonly used term RIC (receiver in the canal) or RITE (receiver in the ear) for their aids. They use CRT (canal receiver technology).

Hearing aids using all the above terms are BTE aids with the receiver located in the ear canal. Using different terms just adds to user confusion.

Hearing aid manufacturers must use the technology that exists…so to merchandise their product they invent unique nomenclature to differentiate their products.

No different then is done in other fields of commerce. Ed

Heh. We use SIE - speaker in the ear.