Hearing aid analysis is a term used to test and measure the electroacoustic characteristics of the hearing aid. This is done by placing the hearing aid in a test chamber box and certain electrical tests are performed to test the accuracy of the specifications as set by the manufacturer. These specifications are American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards that hearing aids must adhere to before leaving a manufacturer.
Hearing Aid Analysis and The American National Standards Institute
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at present uses the 2003 version of ANSI S3.22 as the labeling document for hearing aids. Likewise, hearing instrument manufacturers use the ANSI standard to define terms and performance parameters. Essentially, the standard provides a common set of definitions and tests that allows agreement throughout the industry.
For example, the FDA can use the standardized tests to determine if a particular manufacturer is building its products according to specification. If a tested hearing aid does not meet its published specification, it can be forced to be withdrawn from the market or the offending manufacturer can be reprimanded in some way.
Hearing professionals use hearing aid analysis to determine if performance characteristics of the hearing aid meets the ANSI standard. This allows different hearing aid types can be compared according to the ANSI-derived labeling.
The Importance of Hearing Aid AnalysisThe standard provides a level playing field with which to test hearing instruments produced by manufacturers and to help dispensing professionals verify that any given hearing aid performs to specification.
Hearing aid analysis is designed to evaluate the exact acoustical operating condition of a hearing aid. It will show any deficiency in the amplified sound from the hearing aid.
Most hearing aid users can receive improvement if the total analysis of their hearing loss and hearing instrument is properly compared. The clients hearing test, called an audiogram, is compared to an electronic analysis of their present hearing aid and, if necessary, a course of action for improvement is presented.