Hearing loss is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can occur due to aging, exposure to loud noises, or other medical conditions. Accessing the treatments and technology necessary to restore hearing health can be an intimidating process. From the initial assessment of one’s individual hearing needs right through to the final adjustment of their hearing aids, this article will provide an in-depth look at what to expect during a hearing aid fitting appointment.
With this guide, readers will gain valuable insight into the hearing aid fitting process so that they can come prepared for their appointment and comfortably move forward with their hearing rehabilitation.
Video: Hearing Aid Fitting Appointment: What To Expect
Preparation Before the Appointment
Before the appointment, it is important to gather any relevant medical history, including any past hearing tests or treatments. If you’ve already had a hearing test, bring the results to your appointment.
Prepare a list of questions to ask the audiologist, including the types of hearing aids available, insurance coverage, and warranty and repair options.
Before Fitting: Assessment of Your Hearing Needs
The hearing needs assessment and consultation aim to identify the particular settings in which the patient is experiencing difficulty hearing and would like to improve their hearing, as well as to collect data regarding the patient’s current lifestyle, preferences, and other pertinent information.
If you haven’t had a recent hearing test, the audiologist will perform one to determine the degree and type of hearing loss you have. The hearing evaluation is used to identify the exact level of amplification needed.
The hearing evaluation procedure involves the following:
- Assessing the sound levels you can detect at each frequency.
- Utilizing the results to determine the precise level of amplification required.
- Compressing loud sounds ensure they are not overly uncomfortable when wearing hearing aids.
- Real-ear Measurement
The Hearing Aid Fitting Appointment
The selection and fitting of hearing aids require a fitting appointment with an audiologist. If you haven’t had a recent hearing test, the audiologist will perform one to determine the degree and type of hearing loss you have. The hearing evaluation is used to identify the exact level of amplification needed.
An overview of the hearing aid fitting process and an explanation of the features of the hearing aid, including volume control, program settings, noise reduction, and feedback suppression will be given.
The audiologist will also determine the best-suited hearing aid based on the patient’s type of hearing loss and individual needs. Additionally, an earmold or shell will be created by taking a cast of the ear canal.
Because of this, a patient can expect to have their hearing aids fitted accurately and adjusted to ensure they are receiving the optimal amount of amplification for the best listening experience.
During the initial fitting of the hearing aid, the doctor will evaluate the physical fit, as well as the amplification and volume levels of the hearing aid. The doctor will carefully insert the hearing aids into the ears, ensuring that they are securely in place, that they create a proper seal, and that they are comfortable. If any issues arise, the necessary corrections and adjustments will be done.
Real Ear Measurement Test
The Real Ear Measurement (REM) test is utilized during the appointment to objectively assess the performance of the hearing aid while it’s in the ear. This test involves the insertion of a thin tube connected to a microphone into the ear canal in order to measure the sound volume around the eardrum both with and without the new hearing aid.
The REM test is designed to assess whether the amplification of your hearing aid is appropriate for your individual requirements and to adjust the implication level if needed.
Final Adjustment To The Hearing Aid
The doctor will go over your hearing experience in detail with you to ensure the hearing aid is providing the best possible results.
During this final part of the hearing aid fitting appointment, the doctor will take measures to ensure that the sound of the new hearing aids is comfortable and as close to natural as possible. The doctor will also adjust the volume of the hearing aid to the correct amount, which is an important part of the fitting appointment.
This is the final step in the hearing aid fitting process and is crucial for achieving optimal hearing results. Learning How to Use the Hearing Aids
Gaining proficiency in the use of hearing aids is essential to maximize their effectiveness and ensure that no discomfort or harm is caused to the ears. The doctor will:
- Provide guidance on the correct insertion and removal of the hearing aid.
- Explain how to adjust the volume.
- Instruct you on the proper cleansing and maintenance procedure.
If possible, it’s a good idea to have a friend or family member present to observe and assist with remembering the instructions provided by the doctor.
Follow-up appointments are important to ensure that the hearing aid is working effectively and to make any necessary adjustments. The schedule for follow-up appointments will be determined by the audiologist based on your individual needs.
Care of Hearing Aids
Regular cleaning and maintenance of the hearing aid are important, including cleaning the device, replacing batteries, and storing the hearing aid properly. First and foremost, follow your doctor’s and manufacturer’s instructions for care. The tips below are general and shouldn’t take the place of the instructions they give you.
Cleaning Your Hearing Aid
- Use a dry, soft cloth to wipe your device.
- Keep your hearing aid dry and avoid getting it wet or submerging it in water.
- There are hearing aid specific cleaning kits to help with keeping them clean.
- As far as changing batteries, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- It’s a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand. You don’t want to be without them when the one in your hearing aid dies out.
Storing Your Hearing Aid
- Most hearing aids come with a storage device – be sure to use them.
- Store your device in a cool, dry place.
- Your hearing aid is not a toy, so be sure to keep your device away from pets and children who may think it is.
- Having your hearing aid professionally cleaned and serviced can help prolong the life of your hearing aid.
- Watch for any damage or wear and tear on your device.
If you’re considering getting a hearing aid, you may have questions about the process. Here are three frequently asked questions and their answers:
What types of hearing aids are available?
There are several types of hearing aids available, including behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) models. The type of hearing aid that’s best for you will depend on the degree and type of your hearing loss, as well as your personal preferences.
Will my insurance cover the cost of a hearing aid?
Many insurance plans, including Medicare, do not cover the full cost of a hearing aid. However, some plans may cover a portion of the cost or provide discounts for hearing aids. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine what coverage is available.
How often will I need to replace my hearing aids?
The lifespan of a hearing aid can vary depending on the model, usage, and maintenance. On average, hearing aids can last between three and seven years before needing to be replaced.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prolong the life of your hearing aids. Your audiologist can provide guidance on when it may be time to replace your hearing aids.
In summary, a hearing aid fitting appointment is an important step in improving your hearing and quality of life. They are designed to provide hearing assessments and provide treatment options customized to the individual.
Final adjustments of the hearing aid is an essential part of the process to ensure all hearing-related issues are addressed, as well as to answer any questions or concerns the patient may have.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, it is important to seek help and schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Don’t hesitate to take action.
Is there anything that is keeping you from seeking the help that a hearing aid can provide? Please comment below.