The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Fitted According to NAL and DSL Procedures in Adults with Mixed Hearing Loss


ENT Audiology and Phoniatric Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy


Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Otoneurosurgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy


ENT Audiology and Phoniatric Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

J Int Adv Otol 2022; 18: 302-307
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2022.21270
Read: 599 Downloads: 226 Published: 01 July 2022

BACKGROUND: Bone-anchored hearing aids represent a valid alternative for patients with conductive/mixed hearing loss who cannot use hear- ing aids. To date, these devices have given good audiological results, thanks to various fitting prescription programs (i.e., National Acoustic Laboratories and Desired Sensation Level). The aim of this study is to compare 2 types of fitting algorithms (National Acoustic Laboratories and Desired Sensation Level) implemented for bone-anchored hearing devices.

METHODS: We retrospectively enrolled 10 patients followed at our operative unit, suffering from bilateral symmetrical mixed hearing loss and who underwent bone-anchored hearing aid implantation. All patients experienced each prescriptive procedure, National Acoustic Laboratories and Desired Sensation Level, for 7 months (on average), and they were subjected to audiological tests and questionnaires to evaluate the best program.

RESULTS: National Acoustic Laboratories and Desired Sensation Level prescriptions yielded similar results. Desired Sensation Level allowed less amplification of the low frequencies than the National Acoustic Laboratories prescription, and these differences were the only statistically sig- nificant. Desired Sensation Level allowed better disyllabic word and sentence recognition scores only in quiet and not in noisy conditions. The subjective questionnaires showed similar results. At the end of the trial sessions, more patients (60%) definitively chose the Desired Sensation Level program for their device. These patients were those with a worse hearing threshold.

CONCLUSION: The 2 prescriptive programs allowed similar results although patients with a worse threshold seem to prefer the DSL program. This is the first evaluation of the 2 prescriptive programs, National Acoustic Laboratories versus Desired Sensation Level, for bone conduction devices available in the literature. Further studies are needed to confirm this initial finding.

Cite this article as: Bruschini L, Canelli R, Guida M, et al. Bone-anchored hearing aids fitted according to NAL and DSL procedures in adults with mixed hearing loss. J Int Adv Otol. 2022;18(4):302-307.

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