Peter, Al, Barbara, et al,
Totally agree....on all points. Written e-mail is a tough medium and always will be as very elemental components of human communication are removed thus leading to misunderstandings. Bruised feelings, tho they should not be ignored, should not interfere with the very important exchange of ideas between colleagues as long as the basic rules of e-mail etiquette are observed. I had no problem with the points that were being made, but rather that there was a breach of e-mail etiquette that affected me personally. That matter has since been corrected quite eloquently and sincerely. If I did not clearly state my point so that it was misunderstood, I am sorry to you all. No one should ever have to apologize for expressing an opinion and the open exchange of ideas should always be encouraged.
Personally, I also found this thread extremely interesting and informative and many valid viewpoints were expressed and I hope there will be many more.
As far as the fitting of hearing aids, there does exist a "proper way" to fit them: that way is to consider the individual needs, capabilities, and desires of the person being fitted and try as best as we can to incorporate these parameters into an electro-acoustical device that is a poor substitute for the human ear. There is no definitive "one-size-fits-all" in the world of hearing aids. Fitting hearing aids is a delicate balance between science, physics, neurology, psychology, anatomy....add to that the ever changing human element...well, it does make for a difficult but challenging situation. These are the points that I think Barbara and Tom and everyone else were trying to make.
Barb, keep up the good work. You have done a lot of research and if this is what it takes to help our patients, and it does, then more should follow. There are a lot of us out there who feel the exact same passion to learn and help and I hope you will find us so you don't feel so alone in your endeavors.
Harriet Jacobster, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Board Certified in Audiology