When you work with patients, you need to put your skills to good use. We may have experience and good-quality equipment, however, we need to have methods to ensure that what we do is appropriate and the equipment is functioning properly. We need verification.

In our office, we deal with hearing instruments daily. A modern hearing aid is a miraculous piece of electronics that amplifies, processes, and delivers sound to the ear. It selectively amplifies the sound to match the hearing deficits of a specific ear. It recognizes the location of a sound and suppresses noise and feedback. It may have multiple microphones to emphasize sounds from the front. It must be able to amplify soft sounds without getting too loud for the patient. All these technologies exist to help a patient communicate in many environments.

Even with all these advances, even with all our experience, we must know that the hearing instrument is putting out appropriate sound. Is the hearing aid working correctly? Was it programmed correctly? Is it “running to specs”? Programming hearing aids is equal parts science and art. How do we know we “hit our target”?

We use a HIT box, which stands for Hearing Instrument Test box. This instrument analyzes the sound that a hearing aid emits. By changing the levels and types of sounds entering the microphones, the box can determine if the features of the hearing instrument are working properly and meeting the manufacturer's specifications. In a few seconds, we are able to determine if the instrument is doing what we programmed it to do.

The best-made computer will not work properly if it is programmed poorly or uses defective software. Think of hearing instruments as tiny computers that process sound. Our only goal is to help people. Specifications and features sound impressive, but we always need to verify the output to achieve our goal. You shouldn’t accept anything less from your provider. As always, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health. To learn more about hearing aids, or have any questions on this process, we invite you to call us at 585-723-3440 or email us through our secure contact form.