BHI Unveils Hearing Loss Simulator

September 14, 2007


The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has created a new tool to help America appreciate the impact of hearing loss. Featured on BHI's website, the tool, a hearing loss simulation site presents 21 sound simulations of normal and reduced hearing that are paired with pictures that simulate normal and reduced vision. The paired simulations will help people with normal hearing understand the listening challenges of someone with a hearing loss.

In a recent article on hearing loss simulation (Hearing Journal, July 2007) Zurek and Desloge present a compelling case for the use of simulation in the hearing healthcare field for counseling, hearing aid fitting, training, and in hearing conservation. A number of years ago Robinson and colleagues using an in-office sound-field, demonstrated that the use of hearing loss simulation results in:
  • a significant reduction in hearing aid returns for credit and
  • improvements in the ability to close a sale
In other words an individual is more likely to keep their new hearing aids when family members have empathic understanding of the seriousness of their hearing loss. Hearing loss simulation permits the family members to hear through their loved-one's ears. What a great way to facilitate communication, encouragement and acceptance of hearing solutions.

The BHI audio simulations are based on the work of Brian Moore and colleagues demonstrating how these listening situations sound to people with normal hearing, and mild and moderate sensorineural hearing loss; our thanks to Phonak for sharing these sound files.