Dorothea Wendt

Scientist, PostDoc

Since 1977, Eriksholm has been studying hearing loss, looking for patterns in the amplification needs of hearing-aid users, and devising better ways to provide gain in hearing aids. Over an extensive series of insights gained, we have come a long way. But new questions constantly arise.

Basic compensation for the hearing loss

Hearing-aid manufacturers cannot do business without helping the hearing care professional to provide an appropriate amount of amplification to each individual client. For this, prescription rules are needed. Over the years, Eriksholm has developed both generic and proprietary prescription rules, with increasing sophistication and complexity. One welcome step away from complexity was made by demonstrating that loudness scaling would in most cases not contribute significant precision to hearing-aid fittings.

Effects beyond the audiogram

For most common configurations of audiogram, modern high-end hearing aids do a reasonable job of providing appropriate basic audibility under most conditions. However, it turns out that factors beyond the audiogram (e.g. cognition, auditory lifestyle, and supra-threshold psychoacoustics) influence the optimal form of amplification for the individual listener. Future developments in hearing-aid features and fitting should address candidature issues, in order for each patient to experience the largest possible benefit.

Implementation issues

The quest continues for better ways to implement compression in practical hearing aids; pure forms of both fast-acting and slow-acting compression have their benefits and limitations. We strive to understand the side-effects of specific forms of compression, and devise new forms which combine as many advantages as possible, with as few side-effects as possible.