Good question. A reverse slope hearing loss is not a typical hearing loss but it does occur more often than you may think. The best way to find the right audiologist is to ask how they program their hearing instruments and how they verify the settings are appropriate. You want someone who uses the manufacturer's suggested settings as a starting point not as the gold standard. You also want an audiologist who uses Real-ear measures to verify their programming is meeting your hearing loss needs.
There is a new hearing aid that just came out two weeks ago that works well for reverse slope hearing loss. Previously, for low frequency sound waves to be amplified an occluding earmold had to be used to prevent the sounds from escaping. Unfortunately, this distorted natural sounds, especially your own voice.
Go to the audiologist you prefer and have them order the 312 or 13 NX hearing aid from Signia. I just fit a reverse slope patient two weeks ago and had wonderful success. She had tried multiple other devices at various settings and this was spot on immediately. I do not work for Signia and have a private practice with no exclusive contract with any manufacturer. I order whichever is best for each patient. It was just wonderful how this worked with no deviations from the first fitting.
If for some reason you cannot get an Nx Singia hearing aid in your area, have your audiologist use a "tulip" or "semi-open" dome in your ear to catch the mid frequencies to help you with speech clarity, while reserving the high-frequencies. In doing so you will miss a few of the lowest sounds, but since it will sound more natural you are more likely to war them consistently. It works like a charm in most cases. Just tell your audiologist not to chase the lowest frequencies, and to focus on enhancing the more mid-frequencies as much as possible.
If you have other questions, reverse slope is one of my expertise. Just let me know.
The simplest way to answer the question is if your hearing aid provider solely relies on manufactures software for fitting and programming an aid for a loss predominantly at loss frequencies only this is not going to work. Given that in such losses high frequency hearing is intact we want to preserve high frequency cues. This will not happen if you have an aid which has occluding ear mould or smaller vent.... I am not sure how can you sort list a ' good audiologist'. I'm sure most of them are professionals and do a good job. However, a reverse slope audiogram is not a common one to see in clinic every day and the decision has to be made case by case... Hope this helps
The best way to find out is to ask. Audiology is a diverse field, and some professionals may or may not have encountered patients with reverse slope losses. Do a search for audiologists in your area, and then call and ask. If they aren't familiar with the unique way to fit reverse slope, ask them if they are willing to learn. Most audiologists want to help, and are willing to do what is needed to help their patients hear better. It is imperative that the professional you encounter can do real ear measurements. It is also helpful to have a professional who can map cochlear dead regions. You can find information regarding fitting reverse slope losses HERE and HERE.
Fitting hearing aids is an art. My advice to you is to research providers in your area and interview the top 2 or 3. Make sure that real ear measurements and or speech mapping are routinely performed. You can have the best technology, but ultimately the dispensing professional and your relatiomship is the key to your success. Best of luck.
Audiologists and hearing aid specialists both fit hearing aids. The quality of the fitting has a lot to do with the training the dispenser has received. Many audiology programs spend relatively little time on programming hearing aids whereas the handful of college programs in the country for hearing aid specialists spend a lot more time on the programming aspect. That being said there can also be big differences from one dispenser to another even if they have both had the same training. I would look first for someone who has had formal training in fitting. I would check their reviews online and then specifically ask them about fitting a reverse slope. If you are purchasing hearing aids from them there should be a trial period and if they cannot please you during that period then return the aids and find someone else.
Any hearing instrument specialist or audiologist can providing you with this programming need. We in our practice do this daily. We she reverse slopes often and work with patients having these difficulties just like patients with sloping hearing losses. The hearing loss is easily retreated and can be adjusted with any programmable hearing instrument within minutes. We also go over expectations and discuss benefits alone with limitations. Better hearing is our goal and we meet it almost every time.
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