If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, your audiologist
Your Hearing Aid Fitting: What to Expect
Your hearing test confirmed what you suspected that you will benefit from using a hearing aid. You discussed the options and picked out the device most suited to your needs.
The audiologist took an impression of your ear canal, and asked you to return for an appointment in two weeks. This visit is to fit your new hearing device, make sure it sits comfortably and the volume levels are correctly set.
What happens during that second appointment?
At the evaluation appointment the audiologist took an ear mold of your ear. From this a bespoke earpiece was made to exactly fit your ear canal. During the fitting appointment the audiologist checks the fit to make sure it is correct and that the device is sitting comfortably enough for you to wear all day.
For a hearing aid to work properly requires more than picking a device off the shelf and taking it home. It requires careful programing to match the exact pattern of your hearing loss, so the amplified sounds are neither too loud nor too soft. This is just one of the important issues addressed by the audiologist when your hearing aid is fitted.
During your initial hearing test the audiologist built up a picture of where your hearing needs the most help. They now program the hearing device so that it amplifies those missing sounds at a comfortable level.
To do this the audiologist will passes a fine tube connected to a microphone into your ear canal so that it sits near the ear drum. With the hearing aid in place the audiologist plays a variety of sound and measures the level of the amplification by taking ‘Real Ear Measurements.’ This helps checks that the amplified sounds are neither too soft nor too loud to be comfortable.
Once the hearing aid is correctly set, the audiologist moves onto the next part of the fitting process.
Care and maintenance
Now the audiologist shows you what the various dials and switches are for. They make sure you feel confident to operate the device before you leave the office. In addition, they ensure you have mastered putting the hearing aid into your ear and taking it out again.
It’s also important to maintain your device to get the maximum length of service from it. This means daily cleaning and again the audiologist will talk you through this. Another consideration is how to change the batteries, and you’ll be shown how to do this during the visit.
As you can see there is a lot to cover during a fitting appointment, so leave yourself plenty of time. It is also a good idea to take a friend or family member along with you. They may remember hints and tips that prove useful once you get your device home. But of course, your audiologist is always happy to answer any queries after you get home.