This screwdriver means a great deal to all those Audiologists, that served those with hearing loss, prior to the mid 1990’s. For it was with this tool that we had the ability to modify the hearing device/aid. A screw-set potentiometer, a fancy term for a screw-set dial, was used to manipulate the frequency ranges that a patient could or would be able to hear.
It may have been rather basic, but we were fortunate as years went, to have more screw-set control’s or dials added such as a high frequency low frequency, output, and compression settings added. Now, when you realize that this was all there was in those days, we felt we were able to do many things as best we could. Now in hindsight, I can see a humility in being able to offer help as compared with “today’s technology” being of a digital age.
Current digital advancements have allowed the ability, to help patients with hearing loss and/or tinnitus issues, to be helped successfully in a multitude of ways with the ability of the digital processor. Many digital hearing devices have multiple hard drives that allow for manipulation of sound, frequency, speech cues, as well as full ability to help with tinnitus pitch, frequency, and modulation (how the tinnitus signal is heard in wave patterns). Quite remarkable!
We can now monitor patient environments, adjustments made on hearing devices as they are worn, monitor when devices are worn, as well as relay this to the patient in a clear and concise way to help them know where they are as well as where they will go, or hear. This information has a clinical perspective that we were unable to even comprehend it’s usefulness, just several years ago.
Through our clinical process in counseling, programming, as well as data collection, we should not only expect good things but stand for successes. The screwdriver is very useful today in tightening our eyeglass screws….:)