AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160


Care Credit - Confidence - November 2022

Is Hearing Aid Compression Sufficient Hearing Protection for Hunters?

Chiquita Ewert, AuD

April 7, 2008

Share:

Question

I have found that many of my hearing aid patients insist on wearing their hearing aids when they go hunting so that they can hear the animal when it approaches. I have also had some patients who are not hearing aid candidates that want hearing aids for this purpose. I always advise patients that they should wear their hearing protection. But with digital hearing aids, I can set the output and compression to limit the amount of noise allowed. What is your opinion about this topic? I don't want to encourage, yet I know that they will wear hearing aids hunting anyway. Thank you!!!

Answer

After educating patients on the effects of noise and hearing, it speaks well of your relationship with your patients that they tell you they wear their hearing aids hunting! We all know that hearing aids are not designed to be hearing protection- but I too have met the hunters who wear their aids hunting so that they have an 'advantage' or so that they are safer while hunting. Hunters with moderate hearing loss have indicated to me that they feel safer hunting with their friends if they can hear the others (hard to argue with this). On the other hand we have a responsibility to educate our patients on the potential damage to their hearing while wearing hearing aids and hunting.

If the hunter wears vented hearing aids while hunting, the noise from the gun has a direct path to their ear that no amount of compression or lowered output can decrease- so in effect they are not wearing any protection at all.

If the hunter wears an unvented aid or earmold, then we all know about occlusion loss that occurs with an unvented device, and that occlusive property could actually act as a modicum of protection. As to the dilemma of compression and output limiting in the device acting as protection I am of two minds: I would hate to say that this is a good idea...time constant in the aids may not be fast enough, the impact noise of a loud gun may damage the microphone diaphram and cause the aid to fail etc. On the other hand, if the patient is going to wear the aids hunting- and you know this- I would set a second program with very little gain, very fast 'reaction' time, and very low output and be practical about what they are planning to use the aids for.

Ideally, no one would wear a device designed to amplify sounds for hunting, but the ideal and the reality are often worlds apart. As for the second part of the question: I would NEVER fit someone with hearing aids if they are not a candidate. If they insist on finding out more about amplifiers for hunting- even after we talk about the damage that noise can do to their hearing, I direct them to the Cabella's catalog or to any number of sporting good stores that specialize in hunting and be very clear that I do not endorse this practice.

Chiquita Ewert, Au.D. is currently an audiologist in a muliti-disciplinary clinic in Minneapolis Minnesota. Her audiological experience includes research and development, product management and education and training for major hearing instrument manufacturers. She also provides educational seminars on the dangers of excessive noise exposure to school age children.


Chiquita Ewert, AuD

Education and Training Manager - Bernafon

Dr. Ewert is the Training and Education Manager for Bernafon.  She has experience in the hearing aid industry as a research audiologist, customer service manager and product manager.  Her clinical background includes experience in private practice and hospital based settings.  Dr. Ewert has a master's degree in audiology from the University of Utah and an Audiology Doctorate from the University of Arizona Health Science Center.


Related Courses

Meet the Team! Reach Your Patients’ Goals With Phonak Solutions
Presented by Aly Hoffman, ScD
Live WebinarMon, Jan 30, 2023 at 12:00 pm EST
Mon, Jan 30, 2023 at 12:00 pm EST
Phonak

Presenter

Aly Hoffman, ScD
Course: #38192Level: Introductory1 Hour
Because Well-Hearing is Well-Being, Phonak's full portfolio can prevent hearing damage, address hearing and listening difficulties, and support HCPs as they meet the needs of their community, regardless of where they are in the hearing journey. Join us as we discuss Phonak solutions from on-ear technology to eSolutions that allow individuals to live a life without limitations.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

A Deeper Look at Sound Environments
Presented by Don Schum, PhD
Recorded Webinar
Oticon

Presenter

Don Schum, PhD
Course: #33536Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Presenter's ability to articulate his concepts clearly'   Read Reviews
The characteristics of the sound environment have a fundamental impact on the performance of the hearing aid user. In this course, we will describe the obvious and sometimes more subtle aspects of sound environments that will affect hearing aid performance.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

The Subjective Evaluation of a New Hearing Aid Fitting
Presented by Don Schum, PhD
Recorded Webinar
Oticon

Presenter

Don Schum, PhD
Course: #35584Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Let the patient decide!'   Read Reviews
The final judge of the success of a new fitting will of course be the patient, and the criteria that they use may not always be in line with an objective audiological measure. This course will review some of the issues and options at play when having the patient weigh in on the value of the new devices.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Auditory Wellness: What Clinicians Need to Know
Presented by Brian Taylor, AuD, Barbara Weinstein, PhD
Audio
Signia

Presenters

Brian Taylor, AuDBarbara Weinstein, PhD
Course: #36608Level: Intermediate0.5 Hours
  'Good discussion of importance of outcomes measures and the OTC market'   Read Reviews
As most hearing care professionals know, the functional capabilities of individuals with hearing loss are defined by more than the audiogram. Many of these functional capabilities fall under the rubric, auditory wellness. This podcast will be a discussion between Brian Taylor of Signia and his guest, Barbara Weinstein, professor of audiology at City University of New York. They will outline the concept of auditory wellness, how it can be measured clinically and how properly fitted hearing aids have the potential to improve auditory wellness.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Vanderbilt Audiology Journal Club: Clinical Insights from Recent Hearing Aid Research
Presented by Todd Ricketts, PhD, Erin Margaret Picou, AuD, PhD, H. Gustav Mueller, PhD
Recorded Webinar
AudiologyOnline

Presenters

Todd Ricketts, PhDErin Margaret Picou, AuD, PhDH. Gustav Mueller, PhD
Course: #37376Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The presenters reveal some interesting counter intuitive findings about hearing aid selection and use over time'   Read Reviews
This course will review new key journal articles on hearing aid technology and provide clinical implications for practicing audiologists.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.