Hearing aid verification is a critical part of the hearing aid fitting process. It enables practitioners to ensure that devices deliver optimized and safe sound levels based on a patient's ear size/shape and hearing levels.
Hearing aid verification is a scientific measurement done with the hearing aids in the ears. It uses specialized equipment that allows the audiologist to optimize the programming of the hearing aids for soft, average, and loud sounds across all frequency ranges. It also ensures that sounds are always kept within safe listening levels.
Hearing aid verification is critical because every patient is different. Hearing aid verification allows the audiologist to consider the size and shape of each patient's ear canal so that the hearing aids are personalized to their unique needs.
Tiny tubes are inserted into the ear canals, and testing is done with the hearing aids in the ears. Speech sounds at different volume levels are presented through a speaker. The tiny microphones placed in the ear canals allow the audiologist to see how much sound is delivered to the eardrum. This allows the audiologist to see where adjustments need to be made to ensure that soft levels are heard, and loud levels are always kept safe.
The terms "verification" and "validation" are sometimes used interchangeably. They are very different from each other but equally important. Verification seeks to determine the hearing aid's performance via the objective scientific measures done with the specialized equipment. In contrast, validation uses subjective or perceived user benefits to confirm the hearing aid's value. Validation typically starts by establishing goals at the beginning of treatment and seeing over time if the hearing aids are providing the expected benefit and meeting those goals.
Hearing aid verification confirms that all the hearing aid's sound features function correctly Validation ensures that people are receiving the benefit they had hoped. At the Northern Hearing Health Centre, verification and validation are completed for all hearing aid fittings as part of best-practice standards to ensure the best outcomes for patients.