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Effects of Probe Tubes Inserted Through Earmold Vents on Real-Ear Probe Microphone Measurements

Effects of inserting the probe tube through various sized vents, as well as under the earmold, during real-ear probe mic testing were examined in this study by Stephen Painton, PhD, and Taylor Sweeney. Results seem to support the practice of inserting the probe tube through the vents of earmolds for a “truer” low-frequency measure. This seemed to be the case regardless of the diameter of the vent. All conditions with the probe tube under the earmold seemed to show a “slit leak” effect on the low-frequency output measures that was larger than any effect shown by the probe tube being placed through the vent.

Will Hearing Aid Sales Top 4 Million Units in 2018?

According to HIA statistics, the US hearing aid market has experienced sales gains of 5.9% and may exceed 4 million hearing aid units dispensed by the end of 2018. Here’s a summary of the US hearing industry statistics through the third quarter of this year, including a look at the most-common styles of hearing aids sold.

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A Perspective on the Indiana University OTC Outcome Study

There is much to be learned from the recent IU study on OTC hearing aids. However, as its authors state, the findings are specific to that study and should not be generalized to the population of hearing-impaired individuals at large. A comparison is offered here to an audiology clinic using best practices. Results indicate that removing the professional from the fitting and follow-up process yields significantly lower levels of benefit, satisfaction, and use. If OTC hearing aids become a reality, this should be clearly stated on advertising and packaging; consumers should be informed that research has shown 45% of individuals returned hearing aids that were self-fit. Improving accessibility and affordability is only worthwhile if use and satisfaction are not sacrificed in the process.

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