What Is the Hearing Aid Fitting Process?
If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, then the most likely course of action is working with an audiologist to learn more about your treatment options – hearing aids. There are several steps to ensure you get the best devices for your specific needs, including selection, dispensing and fitting of hearing aids. A professional fitting is much more effective and reliable than trying to do it yourself or ordering devices online, and the help of an audiologist when choosing the right device can be invaluable.
An audiologist will explain the process of fitting a hearing aid every step of the way during the appointment. However, many patients like to know what to expect before they arrive. For that reason, we’re going to take a closer look at the process and what your audiologist will do during the appointment.
Preparing for the appointment
A hearing aid fitting will typically last anywhere from one to two hours in total. Before your hearing aids can be fitted, you will select the type of device you want, which may include: in the ear (ITE), in the canal (ITC) or behind the ear (BTE), with variations in each style. If your hearing aid requires a customized fit for your ear anatomy, the audiologist may take impressions to create a mold for a more comfortable and secure fit. Based on your previous hearing test results, the audiologist will also program your hearing aid to match your needs.
The hearing aid fitting
Though the whole appointment is known as the hearing aid fitting, the actual fitting portion of the process doesn’t take too long. In most cases, inserting the hearing aid should go without an issue. Your audiologist will simply want to make sure it’s comfortable, that it fits, and that it works. Testing its effectiveness is the most important part of the process. A small tube with a microphone will be placed in your ear, testing the noise levels before and after fitting the hearing aid to ensure that the amplification is working correctly. They will make sure it’s not too loud, and that soft sounds are more audible, too.
Getting more advice and information
An essential part of fitting your hearing aids is learning how to use them properly. Your audiologist is likely to go into great detail about how to wear your hearing aids, remove them, change their batteries, program them, and take care of them. They will likely have pamphlets they can give you to remind you of the most important details, but you’re welcome to bring a notepad or to invite a friend along if you need any help in remembering the information.
You will also learn more about the features your hearing aids have been equipped with and how to use these to your advantage. These features may include Bluetooth, multisettings or directional microphones.
At any stage, both during the appointment and afterward, you’re free to ask your audiologist questions about how to use and take care of your device. Whether you simply need to be refreshed on some information or some help with a hearing aid that isn’t working fully, they’ll be able to help.
Planning your hearing health journey
When first wearing your hearing aids, it may take some time to get used to them. Suddenly being able to hear more sounds than you have in some time can require an adjustment period. Your audiologist will talk to you about how you’re going to acclimate to them over time. The eventual goal is to be able to wear them all day, outside of showering or sleeping, but it may take a few weeks to get there.
You will work together with your audiologist to create a schedule for using your hearing aids during the next few weeks. This will likely start with you only wearing them for a couple of hours a day. Steadily, you will increase this as time goes on until you’re able to wear them all day comfortably and happily. You may also start off wearing them in quieter environments, getting used to them before you move on to more social settings.
Another appointment will be arranged after you’ve had time to get used to them. Mostly, your audiologist will simply check to see that your hearing aids are working and that you’re comfortable with them. Slight adjustments can be made if your audiologist feels they require more fine-tuning.
Arrange your fitting today
If you want to know more about the hearing aid fitting process, feel free to get in touch with the professionals at Eartech Audiology by calling 801-399-9955.