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What to Expect When Getting Fitted for Hearing Aids
Most of us take our hearing for granted. It comes so naturally to us that we rarely give this sense a second thought. We tend to assume that it is always of the same quality, as slight changes in our ability to hear are a little more difficult to notice than slight changes in our other senses, such as our sight. After all, we can do things like ask people to speak louder or turn up the volumes when we can’t hear them well – we can’t really do anything to put our sight into better focus. But when it comes down to it, our hearing can alter and over time you need to be more perceptive of negative changes.
If you’re regularly having to ask people to speak up, or if people note that your television or music is a little loud when you think it’s fine, then you really should book in to see an audiologist as soon as possible! This professional will be able to conduct tests and examinations that will determine whether your hearing is quite what it should be. If the results of these exams and tests highlight problems, you may find that you need to be fitted with a hearing aid. But not to worry. This process is straightforward and generally relatively problem-free. Here’s what you can expect!
Preparing for your fitting
You really don’t have to do all too much in preparation for being fitted with hearing aids. All that most audiologists will ask is that your ear canals are relatively clear of wax. If you feel that you may have particularly waxy ears, you can contact your GP for advice – they may be able to clean them on your behalf.
You will generally begin the journey towards being fitted with hearing aids by attending a consultation with your audiologist. They will be able to recommend different types of aids that will best suit your needs and bring your hearing up to scratch. You might also want to have some input by requesting certain features in your new aid. Perhaps you’d be interested in aids with Bluetooth technology, or maybe you’d like your aid to be a particular custom color. Once you have settled on a model together, they will be able to order your aids for you. If you have requested a custom fit, you may have to have ear mold impressions taken. Your audiologist will also be able to do this for you. During this, they will also measure the correct length of tubing that will connect the earmold to the hearing aid. If you happen to be receiving an aid that is to be fitted with an open ear fit configuration, your audiologist will instead place a small measuring device in your ear to determine the correct length of slim sound tubing that you will require.
The fitting process
Once your hearing aids have been delivered, your audiologist will program them using specialist software and then you will be called back in to commence the hearing aid fitting process. This is an extremely important step towards rectifying and improving your hearing, as it will program your hearing aid to your individual hearing loss. You will generally be seated facing a speaker that is playing a host of different sounds. Your audiologist will then insert a thin, soft tube into your ear canal. They will use this to measure sounds within your ear. They will make prescriptive adjustments to your aid, which you will then test out. You can discuss sound quality and final adjustments will be made according to your personal preferences. The entire process will usually take just one hour. It really is as straightforward and hassle-free as that!
Follow up appointments
Sometimes, your audiologist will request that you check back in with them. This is purely to ensure that they can check that your aids are working as you’d hoped they would and to check that you are maintaining your aids properly. However, these checks will only usually take place around once every six months, so you don’t need to worry that they will be taking up all of your time.
Many people will put off the process of being fitted with a hearing aid, as they’re unsure of what it entails. But as you can see, you will be made extremely comfortable and have no need to worry about any discomfort or inconvenience. If you feel that you’re ready to move forward with this process and take active steps towards better hearing, you can find out more through the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center at (920) 969-1768.