I recently had to purchase a Wi-Fi extender to solve some issues I was having with connectivity on my new laptop. I’d never had to use one before, and while I had a basic understanding of how the technology worked, I wasn’t up on all of the lingo appearing in Wi-Fi extender product descriptions online. So initially, finding what I needed proved difficult. I researched the different types and features available at a range of price points, and considered whether a mesh network might be a better alternative based on my circumstances.

Once I better understood the terminology, what features would be useful to me, and what I didn’t think was necessary, I felt much more comfortable making my decision. And the myriad of options available online wasn’t quite so overwhelming. 

While a Wi-Fi extender is not the same as a hearing device, the process of learning about the options before making a purchase is much the same, except that audiology patients are lucky enough to have hearing care professionals to help them along the way.

Always More to Learn

In Andy Lundin’s article, “Helping Patients Parse Hearing Technology Beyond Hearing Aids,” audiologists share their tips for getting patients up to speed on the many other options that are available to enhance their hearing experience. As discussed in the article, many clients are unsure of the difference between OTC hearing aids and PSAPs, for example, and others might not be aware of how they could benefit from captioned telephones and captioning apps. 

It’s difficult to make the best choice if you don’t know about all of the options and fully understand what they can do to benefit you. 

This holds true for hearing care professionals, as well, when it comes to patient care. There is of course always more to learn. 

In “Forms Influence Functions: Microphone Angle and Speech-in-Noise Performance,” the authors detail how the differences in a hearing aid’s microphone angles can not only improve the device’s look, but also improve how well it works. This information can be used to help decide on the hearing aid design that might work best for a patient. 

And in “How to Use Bluetooth and Hearing Aids for a Live Performance” the authors share how HCPs can help performers set up their hearing aids to function like in-ear monitors. That’s something not every hearing care professional or audiology client would necessarily think of as a viable solution. But once it’s known and understood, it becomes a potential option for patients. 

Melanie Hamilton-Basich, Chief Editor, The Hearing Review

Seeking Out Knowledge

Attending professional events is another way to further expand your knowledge. In the March issue, you’ll find a preview of what you can expect to experience at the AAA 2024 Conference + HearTECH Expo, Apr. 17–20 in Atlanta, with a sneak peek at some of the products that will be featured in addition to the many educational options and networking opportunities. 

What audiology products, technologies, techniques, and trends do you want to learn more about? I’m always open to suggestions for topics to cover in The Hearing Review

In fact, The Hearing Review will have a booth at AAA’s HearTECH Expo, and I’ll be in attendance soaking up as much information as I can. I hope to see you there. 

 — Melanie Hamilton-Basich

Photo: Dreamstime

Original citation for this article: Hamilton-Basich M. Making an Informed Decision. Hearing Review. 2024;31(3): 06.