Re: Hearphones and Social Cues
Thanks for asking about support for my claim that most audiologists fail to go the whole way in testing what actually comes out of purchased hearing aids, rather than just assuming that what the manufacturer (or more likely, distributor) sends was actually carefully tested to make sure it met the hearing loss curve.
I relied on an extremely well done, well documented YouTube video by Dr. Cliff Olson, link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rbf87bmPNQ
I was skeptical at first and checked out several other of his videos. As a natural born skeptic-at three years old, I argued with my Grandmother about errors in Biblical passages, started engineering later in life and was in product development for years, then became a litigation attorney-I am far too familiar with the wild claims and out right frauds practiced by some doctors-I was not very receptive, at first, of Dr. Cliff's claims.
But his audiological curves and later, his critique of Hearphones (they lack the ability to eliminate feedback, which makes them, as you suggest, inappropriate for profound hearing loss), convinced me that he was up front and knew very well what he is talking about: Hearphones CAN be adjusted to match the curve needed very well, a pleasant surprise to me, too. And I, too, noticed the feedback problem. Turns out you can't eliminate that without eliminating noise cancelling, which I prefer.
I agree, they are large enough and obvious enough to present some social considerations. My hearing loss is considerable, my tinnitis extreme, but past experiences have taught me that the primary concern of the audiologists I have gone to was to push me into buying hearing aid rather than being highly trained professionals who, like 99% of doctors, genuinely care. I always felt like the mark walking into a car lot, "how much can you afford to pay a month?" was sitting right there on the lips.
There is also a vanity aspect; behind the ears are "more hidden," but still mark the user as an old deaf guy to far too many folk. And from what I've noticed with my friends, they don't really improve hearing all that much. Maybe they went to wrong audiologist?
That said, when I finally decide to get a pair of "real" hearing aids, the first question I will ask is whether they run the tests the Dr. Cliff Olson does: in-the-ear canal, post fitting tests with an oscilloscope like graph showing exactly what my hearing loss is, and how well the hearing aids, after adjustment, match the loss.