Chapter 03: Adult Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The first generation of modern hearing instruments (HIs) incorporated analog circuitry.  The second generation incorporates digital signal processing (DSP).  You are entering this profession during its most exciting period in the history of hearing instrument versatility.  The state-based licensing boards are behind the curve regarding the developments which have become commonplace among dispensing professionals since 1998.

The presumption that you must learn seemingly anachronistic information, specifically about analog HIs and other outdated technologies, is not entirely accurate.  In the last fifteen years, the hearing care professional community has not replaced every single analog HI with digital instruments.  Millions of analogs are used today; thus, they must be understood to the degree that you can repair them, if necessary, when an elderly patient walks into your clinic. Of course, when you do encounter patients with analogs, you will obviously focus of fitting the DSP generation of instruments, but you must understand the older technology for two purposes – to pass your exam and to work with older generation patients.