"Getting Hearing Aids" vs. "Getting Hearing Correction"
When a person becomes aware of their hearing problem, often they assume getting hearing aids is the proper decision. Dr. Magilen makes a clear distinction between "getting hearing aids" and "getting hearing correction".
"Getting hearing aids", means finding the right model, provider, price, size, and features that satisfy the consumer's taste and budget. The hearing aids are fit with formulas that are primarily based upon "hearing loss" alone. Getting such hearing aids merely requires the assistance of providers who deliver on a trial-and-error basis a variety of devices until the client finds one that is more satisfactory than the rest. The results are generally hit or miss.
"Getting hearing correction", means obtaining the hearing aids and services that optimally relieve the hearing-impaired individual's hearing problems. Hearing aids are selected and sound engineered to optimally address the audibility, neural and cognitive components of the individual's hearing impairment. That requires the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled professional.
Unfortunately, the hearing-aid dispensing industry is not truly focused on correcting the underlying the problem...it is primarily a sales industry. In addition, the prevailing theory for how hearing aids should be fit, focusing on adjusting for "hearing loss", is also seriously flawed. For that reason it is difficult to find hearing-aid providers with the scientific and technical background to address the neuro-cognitive components associated with hearing impairment. This is why Consumer Reports found "a fragmented and confusing marketplace and difficulty sorting out good hearing-aid providers from less-capable ones..." The hearing aid industry and the audiology communities have been unable to develop an effective standard of practice.