Hearing Aids in Children There are a number of issues that come to mind in this situation. These include the definition of “gain,” the maximum output of the hearing aid, and the possibility of a conductive component. In general, most prescriptive methods were derived from average adult measures and, thus, one should expect some ... Clinical Focus: Consult
Clinical Focus: Consult  |   March 01, 1992
Hearing Aids in Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia G. Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus: Consult   |   March 01, 1992
Hearing Aids in Children
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 22-24. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.22
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 22-24. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.22
There are a number of issues that come to mind in this situation. These include the definition of “gain,” the maximum output of the hearing aid, and the possibility of a conductive component.
In general, most prescriptive methods were derived from average adult measures and, thus, one should expect some degree of variability on an individual basis. However, if a child with a moderate-to-severe hearing loss appears to prefer a magnitude of gain greater than 2/3 of the hearing loss, I would first ask how “gain” was being measured. If functional gain measures are used, gain can appear to be quite high because the input levels used to measure aided thresholds in the sound field will be relatively low (e.g., < 30–40 dB SPL) (Stelmachowicz & Lewis, 1988). However, if “gain” were measured with higher level inputs, as is typical with probe-tube measures, the gain will be less. The differences between these two estimates of “gain” will depend upon the input/output characteristics of the hearing aid. For example, with input compression circuits, especially those with low activating thresholds (or kneepoints) or with some of the “automatic signal processing” hearing aids (e.g., Manhattan or K-amp circuits), more gain will be realized with low input levels than with higher ones. Thus, the most important issue is not gain, but rather the maximum output of the hearing aid.
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