The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust,
When I was asked to edit ENT&A Nov/Dec 2023 on the history of hearing devices, I knew it was going to be interesting, but I hadn’t realised quite how varied it would be. I regularly fit CROS hearing aids, yet have never given a second thought to the history behind them, so Neil Bauman’s article on their accidental invention was quite an eye opener (pun intended)!
Even with the increasing miniaturisation of hearing aids, I still occasionally get patients who are concerned about their aesthetics. I wish I had a few of Michael Brigg’s Guiness World Record-breaking ear trumpet collection on hand for these moments, as they really highlight just how much technology has improved, and shrunk, over the last 100 years.
Bone-conduction hearing devices offer a fantastic solution to patients with conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness, but I certainly wouldn’t have imagined that their early iterations were devised in the 1400s! Ad Snik explains the development from a metal rod held between the teeth to today’s technology.
But what about the most commonly-fitted hearing device, the humble hearing aid? Claus Nielsen explores technological advances in hearing aids over the past century, highlighting the key developments in this time and the drivers behind these changes.
The final article for Nov/Dec 2023 doesn’t strictly come under the heading of a ‘hearing device’, but I thought it was an important one to include. Hearing devices are part of the answer to hearing rehabilitation, but the professional care and support surrounding these devices is arguably as important as the technology. Many audiology professionals are aware of the principles of person-centred hearing care but, as Lidia Best and Mark Laureyns highlight in their article, it should be at the core of everything we do in audiology education and clinical practice. However, there is still a way to go before this is the reality.
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