The Hearing Aid Fitting Process
The recommendation: hearing aids. Your audiologist has performed various tests and now you’re ready for a hearing aid fitting. What is involved in the hearing aid fitting process? Quite a few things, actually. Your appointment will take at least an hour and when you’re finished, your hearing will improve.
The first step
In advance of your hearing aid fitting appointment, your audiologist orders your new hearing aids. Depending upon the type of hearing aid, you may have had ear mold impressions for a custom fit. Once the hearing aids are delivered, your audiologist programs them using special software.
Beginning the fitting process
A sound test comes next, and this is a very important step. Your audiologist places a thin tube in your ear near your eardrum. This tube measures the impact of loud and soft sounds on your eardrum.
Next, your hearing aid is placed in the ear canal along with the tube. By again checking the volume, your audiologist balances the hearing aid amplification, allowing you to hear soft sounds and loud sounds comfortably.
Your audiologist also will check the fit of your hearing aids to make sure you’re comfortable.
Learning about hearing aid care
The fitting process is more than just making sure you can hear well. Your audiologist will show you how to insert and remove your hearing aids, how to make audio adjustments, how to change (or charge) your batteries, and how to clean your hearing aids. Maintenance and storage are also discussed. It’s a good time to ask questions since there’s a lot to learn. But there’s no need to worry because you will receive brochures and paperwork to help remind you how to properly care for your hearing aids.
Adjusting to new hearing aids
Adjusting to wearing hearing aids may take a few weeks. Your audiologist will advise you to wear them for just a few hours on the first day. Every day, you will increase the length of time you wear your hearing aids until you are wearing them all day. If you have any discomfort or problems, be sure to call your audiologist.
Begin wearing your hearing aids in a quiet environment so you can adjust to hearing new sounds. Enlist a family member or friend to have a conversation so you can notice the differences in your hearing. Noisier places such as restaurants, meetings, or parties may be challenging at first because background sounds can be distracting. It takes time to adjust, but once you do, you will be surprised at what you were missing!
The hearing aid fitting process may seem overwhelming. However, as you gradually become familiar with your hearing aids, any anxiety quickly fades. Remember, your audiologist and office staff are there to help. Semi-annual or annual follow-up visits and professional cleanings a few times a year will ensure you’ll get the best performance from your hearing aids.