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Five Things to Know About Fitting Hearing Aids
Your audiologist tests your hearing prior to a hearing aid fitting. If the results determine you would benefit from hearing aids, you and your audiologist will discuss finding the right hearing aid design for your budget. Here are some things to know about fitting hearing aids.
What happens before the hearing aid fitting?
A physical examination of your ears is followed by a tympanogram. This is a test to check middle-ear function, including the eardrum and conduction bones in the ear. Next, a tone threshold test determines the volume and pitch of sounds you can hear. After that test, the audiologist decides if you would benefit from hearing aids. If so, the hearing aid fitting process begins.
Selecting hearing aids
There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing hearing aids, including model (in the ear or over the ear), lifestyle, and budget. You and your audiologist determine the best hearing aids for your hearing loss. You may have ear mold impressions for a custom fit. Once your hearing aids come in to the office, you will return for your hearing aid fitting.
Getting the best sound
The hearing aids are programmed by your audiologist, which may be done prior to or during your visit. Then a special process begins to measure sound volume in your ear, near your eardrum. A thin tube goes into your ear canal for tests. Tests are repeated with the tube and the hearing aid. Your audiologist adjusts the hearing aid amplification for your comfort and best results.
There also is a physical check of your hearing aids to make sure they fit and are comfortable.
Learning to use your hearing aid
There’s a lot of information coming your way during hearing aid fittings. Your audiologist has brochures and materials to help. You’ll learn about different settings on your hearing aids, how to clean and maintain them, and changing or charging the batteries. Don’t hesitate to ask questions – you might want to write out some questions prior to your hearing aid fitting to remember all your concerns.
Adjusting to your hearing device
Your hearing aid fitting appointment will last at least an hour. Once you’re set, your audiologist will advise you to gradually increase the length of time you wear your hearing aids until you’ve worked up to a full day.
Because it takes the brain time to adjust to hearing new sounds, it may take a few days to adapt to this new experience. Start in a quieter environment at home with one-on-one conversations. When you first try to wear your hearing aids in a noisier environment the background noise may be distracting. Don’t be discouraged; you will learn to ignore many of these sounds.
There is no reason to be anxious about the hearing aid fitting process. Your audiologist will help you every step of the way and will follow up with any necessary adjustments to your hearing aids. With time and patience, you’ll see a big improvement in your hearing.