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Clinical Challenges
November 2000

Digital Hearing Aids

Author Affiliations

N. CALHOUNKARENMDB. KUPPERSMITHRONALDMDFrom the Surgery Service, Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, and the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(11):1394-1397. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.11.1394

The increased expense of digital hearing aids, compared with conventional analog aids, is justified by the substantial advantages they provide.

The proliferation of digital technology and continued miniaturization of sound-processing hardware has led to the development of a new generation of digital hearing aids. These aids offer complex sound-processing algorithms made possible through replacement of capacitors and resistors with computer software, and are purported to offer substantial benefit over conventional analog hearing aids by being more adaptable to an individual's pattern of hearing loss. However, digital aids are up to 5 times more expensive.

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