Can you give me an example of how you might implement the automatic acclimatization feature for a hearing aid patient?
I think that the majority of professionals are using automatic acclimatization with individuals who are relatively new to amplification or who may not be able to readily return for follow-up visits. For new wearers, the automatic increase in gain allows them to start adjusting to amplification without being overwhelmed. For individuals who have difficulty returning for office visits or who may travel to a different climate for part of the year, the hearing aid will gradually change without the need to return to the office for a manual gain adjustment. Remember, the goal of this feature is to start the wearer at a comfortable gain level for immediate acceptance and then very gradually and automatically move to a level where the gain setting will allow for improved audibility and speech intelligibility.
When thinking about implementing the acclimatization manager feature for the wearer, it is always best to examine your starting goal, as well as your end goal. This can easily be accomplished using one of our default settings or setting an individualized target in the software. Considerations for activating this feature include age, cognitive abilities, previous exposure to amplification and how quickly the wearer can move through this acclimatization process. In the Siemens fitting software, there is flexibility to set the time frame for the changes to occur over one week, two weeks, four weeks, two months, or six months. If the wearer is averaging 10 hours of wear-time a day, then they will complete the acclimatization process in the amount of time specified. If they are wearing the hearing aid more or less than 10 hours, it will take a bit more or less time to reach that ending point.
The acclimatization manager is one example of the many features within the hearing aid that can serve the individual needs of the wearer.
For more information on this topic, please refer to the Siemens Expert Series recorded webinar, Trainable Hearing Aids – Friend or Foe of the Clinician?, presented by Gus Mueller, Ph.D.