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4 Factors in A Successful Hearing Aid Fitting
When you visit your audiologist, you might be recommended a hearing aid due to noise-induced hearing loss. After testing your hearing, your audiologist will work with you to find the right hearing aid fit for your needs. However, you might be wondering: how do I maximize my audiologist’s help for the most successful hearing aid fitting?
This fitting begins with an assessment of your needs and finishes with a follow-up appointment where your hearing aid will be programmed to your customized specifications. There are several points you want to keep in mind to ensure that your audiologist provides you with the best selection. Below, I have outlined four factors in a successful hearing aid fitting. If your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist doesn’t cover these points, you might want to raise them yourself.
Hearing test results
An in-depth hearing aid test is the first step in the right direction. Your audiologist can glean important information about your hearing aid needs from the severity of your hearing loss. The hearing test is conducted in a quiet, sound-proof room where you will be instructed to wear headphones or earbuds. The hearing test is painless and non-invasive, but the test is done through an instrument called an audiometer.
Throughout the test, you will be asked to listen to tones at different pitches and volumes. This exercise forces you to listen carefully to determine the softest sounds you can hear at each frequency.
The next component of the test is speech audiometry which evaluates the faintest speech sound you can hear and understand, and, like an eye exam, you will be asked to repeat back the sounds you’ve heard. This test will determine what type of hearing aid model you’ll need, whether you have moderate hearing loss or severe hearing loss.
Examine your lifestyle needs
Do you live in a noisy home or neighborhood? Is your commute to work loud enough where you can’t hear yourself think? Do you regularly attend concerts, nightclubs and loud public events? These daily activities make a virtual snapshot of your life which the audiologist should be made aware.
You might have experienced ringing, buzzing, roaring, muffled or distorted sound in your daily life. In that case, this is a sign of noise-induced hearing loss which could have been caused by excessively loud noises in your environment for long periods.
Consider whether you frequently talk on the phone, watch TV or whether you have a lifestyle that requires frequent conversations or heavy listening. If you are a young adult or teenager in need of a hearing aid, there are now options available that pair easily with iPhones or come equipped with personal sound amplification.
However, if you are a person who leads a quiet life, a simpler hearing aid might be perfect for you. People who work in a busy environment or encounter a lot of background noise will naturally need a more advanced and updated hearing aid.
There are many preference styles to choose from with hearing aids. Do you want large hearing aids or something nearly invisible? Would you like to control the volume or have an aid that automatically adjusts it for you? Do you want a hearing aid capable of syncing to enhanced listening devices? Hearing aids are getting more advances and inclusive for a busier and active wearer by the year. However, these are still important considerations to think about for your personal life.
Suppose you have worn hearing aids before; you should have a general idea of what you liked and disliked. If you enjoyed your last set of hearing aids, you might want to purchase the same model again. Depending on how long it has been, you could buy an entirely different hearing aid which takes some time to adjust.
Consider which new features you might want to try with your new hearing aids. You can upgrade to a different style, sound quality and gadget compatibility. Which new features would you like to explore? These are excellent questions to analyze with your audiologist best to determine your needs for a new hearing aid if you’ve worn them before.
The adjustment process
There’s a chance that once your hearing aids are programmed, out of the box and into your ears that your new world of hearing feels loud, overwhelming and overstimulating. Your brain will need to adjust to which sounds to ignore, and which sounds to detect.
Your audiologist will need to run tests to appropriately set your hearing aid for your specific hearing loss needs. You will also be instructed on the proper care and management of your hearing aids: how to change the battery, use the features and cleaning your hearing aid.
It is imperative to make sure these factors are discussed as this will help the audiologist pull together the best options for you. To learn more about what makes a successful hearing aid fitting, call the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center at (920)-969-1768.