Limitations of Open Canal ProductsBy Taylor, Brian, AuD; Berkeley, Lisa, MA; Hearing Review,
Publication Date: June 2007
Article focuses on limitations found in open canal (OC) hearing products, the popularity of which doubled from 2005 to 2007. Evidence suggest that people who use OC devices enjoy a number of unique advantages, including better sound quality of their own voices, better localization, and improved cosmetics. Research also suggests that, for the proper candidate, there may be no downside to fitting OC products. The authors surveyed 92 dispensing professional in order to find inherently unique problems in the design or use of OC products. Areas covered in the surveys included usage and satisfaction rates, as well as ratings of the following factors: (1) acoustic feedback, (2) occluding cerumen, (3) uncomfortable physical fit, (4) occlusion-related problems (poor sound quality of user's own voice), (5) cosmetics/appearance, (6) ineffective in noise (no improvement with speech intelligibility in noise), (7) inability to insert or remove hearing aid, and (8) poor sound quality. The study’s findings reinforce the fact that no single model or style of device is better than another, as it is the responsibility of the professional to customize the style and model to best meet the needs of each patient client. While OC devices do offer a number of advantages, they do have limitations (acoustic feedback, ineffectiveness in noise, etc.) that should be addressed.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.hearingreview.com/issues/articles/2007-05_02.asp