Hearing Aid Technology
The discussion below is largely academic as over 80% of all hearing aids dispensed today are digital. This is because a range of features can be put into a digital aid, much like in digital cell phones.
There are essentially three levels of hearing aid technology. I refer to them as analog, digitally programmable, and digital.
ANALOG technology is the technology that has been around for many decades. Analog technology is basic technology and offers limited adjustment capability. It is the LEAST expensive and the least flexible. I rarely recommend analog technology.
DIGITALLY PROGRAMMABLE technology is the "middle grade" technology. Digitally programmable units are actually analog technology, but they are digitally controlled by the computer in the office to adjust the sounds of the hearing aid.
DIGITAL technology is the most sophisticated hearing aid technology. Digital technology gives the audiologist maximum control over sound quality and sound processing characteristics. There are qualitative and quantitative indications that digital instruments do outperform digitally programmable and analog hearing aids. Digitals are not perfect, but they are very good.
I ALWAYS recommend digital hearing aids, unless there is an overwhelmingly compelling reason to recommend a lesser product.