Semi-supervised self-adjustment fine-tuning procedure for hearing aids for asymmetrical hearing loss
The individual fitting of hearing aids is still a challenge and usually requires several sessions. The audiologist typically fine-tunes the hearing aids based on the patient's reported perception. Recent research investigated the alternative of empowering the patient by means of self adjustment. However, all known studies on self-adjustment procedures have so far focused on symmetric hearing loss and a symmetrical signal modification adjustable by the user. It is therefore still unknown how to deal with severe asymmetric hearing losses. In this study, we examined a previously evaluated self-adjustmentprocedure for symmetric hearing losses with respect to its applicability for asymmetric hearing losses. For this purpose, experienced hearing-aid users with asymmetric hearing loss were fitted with real hearing aids and equipped with a self-adjustment user interface. Each fitting was performed in several realistic sound scenes in two conditions: first, the two hearing aids were fitted separately; second, both hearing aids were fitted in a coupled way and then fine-tuned separately. In addition to the comparison between the gain settings resulting from the self-adjustments the study examined also subjective sound impressions such as the balance of the sound in both ears.