Loss of hearing is a common health condition found in older people. The decision to purchase a hearing aid to improve hearing can be difficult and costly. People can choose from several styles, technologies and features. So the question is this. Is an advanced hearing aid that much better than a basic hearing aid? You may be surprised by the results of a recent study.
The study was conducted by Robyn Cox who directs the Hearing Aid Research Laboratory at The University of Memphis. Participants in the study were older people who had mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss caused by inner ear disease or lesions.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether an advanced hearing aid is more effective than a basic hearing aid for improving quality of life and speech understanding. The study observed 25 people for a month. Some participants had never worn a hearing aid before and others already had experience wearing them.
Participants wore a total of four different hearing aids during the study. They were not told which ones were premium or basic. Each person was issued two premium and two basic models.
The outcomes of the study were derived from diary items, standardized questionnaires and a speech understanding test. The results of the study show that the quality of life and speech understanding were significantly improved for all study participants.
In addition, there were no differences found between new or experienced users, and there were no clinical differences of importance between the basic or the premium models. Lower costing basic aids were just as effective as higher costing premium models.
The study proved two points. Hearing aids can be beneficial to those suffering from hearing loss, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good results. Regardless of whether you purchase an advanced hearing aid or a basic model, they all must be fitted, programmed and fine-tuned for quality results.