Not Selling Hearing Aids and Its Effect on the Audiology Profession: A Comparison between Québec and Ontario
What would audiology be like if audiologists would have never been granted the right to sell hearing aids? Although it’s impossible to go back in time, this question can still be partly answered by what could be called a case-control study. Indeed, there exist one province in Canada—Québec—where audiologists are not allowed to sell hearing aids.
Frank Musiek’s article strings together a commentary of his thoughts about recruitment and its impact or perhaps, lack of impact on modern-day audiology. He also considers that perhaps what we have known as recruitment for many years, may actually be “brain gain” in the area of modern neuroscience.
The speech intelligibility benefits of directional microphones in hearing aids have been well documented. There is little disagreement that hearing aid directionality can be beneficial for hearing aid users in noisy situations in which a user’s goal is to understand speech. The author’s outline how, by automatically adapting, hearing aids can help maintain speech intelligibility as the acoustic environment changes.
Reframing the role of audiology is based on the assumption that the value of a good or service is defined by the customer. Those that produce the good or service are more successful when they have a clear understanding of these customer specifications and tailor the features of their product to match. If a gap exists between what customers identify as valuable and what is readily available, it presents an opportunity for those that produce the good or service to close that gap by modernizing what they produce. This is an ongoing challenge for audiologists, since what customers want and value often changes regularly over time.
Interview with Frederick N. Martin Ph.D., Lillie Hage Jamail Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin
Courtesy of Doug Beck and our friends at AudiologyOnline, we pleased to bring you this insightful interview with Dr. Frederick N. Martin.
Philippa Thomson writes about her bilateral Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS). It is commonly referred to as a balance disorder, but for the purpose of this post, Thomson emphasises that there are people who have SCDS who have hearing loss only, and no vestibular symptoms.
Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments conducted a blinded, randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the personalized, spectrally altered music-based sound therapy over 12 months of use. This article will focus on the qualitative results of the trial.
Tim Kelsall writes about the concern over young (and older) people listening to personal music players as part of their daily life and how to protect them from hearing loss. CSA Z107.56 includes a section on estimating noise exposure under headsets which puts this issue in perspective. Based on research indicating that most people set the volume of music and speech at about 15 dB above the existing ambient the standard provides an estimate of their noise exposure.
Noise has been a constant and ongoing problem in workplaces across many industries and around the world. It has been linked to a number of diseases and health problems including: hypertension, noise induced hearing loss, heart disease and sleep disturbance. The industry standard device which is used for accurately measuring noise is the sound level meter (SLM) but for an untrained person, these may be confusing to operate. This is an advance notice of a study which has been completed and is in the process of manuscript writing.
James Wright tell us that while delivering and fitting a new set of hearing aids, the first impression is of key importance for the client to make an easy transition to life with this new and costly addition to their communications needs. The hearing aid must meet the criteria of being physically comfortable to wear, aesthetically acceptable and perhaps most importantly, improve the quality of life for the user as they gain confidence in this new technology.
Musicians cannot be subject to the “try this and come back in two weeks” fitting process. We need our aids to be right, from the beginning, or at least 80% there. The preprogramming formulas are not right for the demands of live music, and the audiologist often doesn’t have the sound gear to create real world level music in the clinic, which real world sound samples. Professional bass player Rick Ledbetter provides his “wish list for musicians.”
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association shares some information about their Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Project and how you can get involved.
Courtesy of our friends at HearingHealthMatters.org, Calvin Staples focuses on NEWS and NEW. The NEWS section will provide insight into how the industry side of the audiology profession continues to transform, whereas the NEW section will focus on the amazing research and developments that are occurring across the field of audiology.
Gael Hannan wonders if we will actually see, in the not-so-far-off future, the introduction of an effective Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA).
Robert Traynor takes an interesting look at the evolution of headphones.
It is well known that occupational hearing loss is the result of long exposure to high levels of noise. When asked about how long is “long exposure,” the answer frequently is given as: “40 years of exposure, 8 hours a day, and 40 hours a week.” And, to the question of how high a potentially damaging level is, the magic number is 85 dBA.
Marshall Chasin recently caught up with Wallace Sabine at a séance on a dark and stormy night for a “virtual” conversation about reverberation time.
In this edition of “Striking the Right Balance,” Dr. Darren Tse, founder of The Ottawa Hospital Multidisciplinary Dizziness Clinic, discusses how to diagnose, prevent, and treat ototoxicity.