Selecting a hearing aid is an important part of your hearing health journey. With the help of your hearing health professional, you have already narrowed down your style options, choosing from three main categories: behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE) and in the canal (ITC). Once you have made this decision, you will discuss what features would be most beneficial to your listening experience, this could include something simple like Bluetooth or something sophisticated like noise reduction.
After the selection process, your hearing care provider will schedule a hearing aid fitting. This appointment is incredibly important to your overall hearing aid experience. You will discuss several essential pieces of information, ranging from how you actually use your device to proper upkeep and maintenance. This visit will provide you with all the information and tools you need to take care of your hearing aid, as well as how to get the most out of your experience. When you go in for your hearing aid fitting, you can expect the following to occur:
The fitting itself
The entire hearing aid fitting appointment can last anywhere from one to two hours, depending what kind of features you need to learn more about and any questions you may have. Your hearing aid fitting will typically begin with a check to see how well the device physically fits in your ear. If you wear a device that requires an earmold, such as an ITE hearing aid, impressions will have already been taken and the fit should be tailored to your ear anatomy. The device will be placed in your ear and your hearing care professional will examine the fit to ensure the fit is proper and you get the best, most natural listening experience possible.
Testing the device
Together, you and your hearing health professional will adjust the settings on the hearing aid, creating a program that best fits your needs. Your hearing health provider will make the adjustments, but will discuss with you the different sound environments you frequent. They will use this information to program the device’s settings to make it easier for you to switch between different listening profiles. Pay attention to whether you can hear your own voice, if the sound is tinny or if it isn’t amplifying well enough in your opinion. In addition to getting feedback from you, the hearing professional will also perform testing again while you’re wearing the hearing aids. This helps them make the necessary adjustments based on the severity of your hearing loss and the pitches or tones you have difficulty with.
Learning about your hearing aid
Modern hearing aids come with all kinds of specialized features, including directional microphones, T-coil and Bluetooth. Your hearing care professional will help explain the purpose of all of these features, as well as the proper times to use them or how they should be operating. Additionally, you will learn how to properly insert and remove your device. While this may sound simple, it can take some getting used to, especially if you have an ITC hearing aid that is inserted into your ear canal. Your hearing care provider will also talk to you about the proper way to maintain and clean your hearing aid. Regular maintenance is essential to preserving the longevity of your hearing aids, as well as ensuring they operate correctly. Most maintenance routines are simple to follow, and include steps like: wiping off your with a dry cloth device after wearing it all day, removing the batteries and leaving the compartment open at night and removing any earwax or debris from internal and external ports.
Addressing your questions
Wearing hearing aids will be a wonderful – but new experience – and can come with several questions on your part. If you have any concerns or questions at all, this is a perfect time to ask your hearing health professional. They can provide answers and even write them down if you’re not certain you will be able to remember everything that you need to know. At the end of the appointment, you will also arrange another appointment for a follow-up to ensure that the devices are working as intended and meeting all your needs.
At Hear Again America, your hearing health professional’s help doesn’t end with the hearing aid fitting. If you ever have any further questions regarding the use and maintenance of your device or the features and settings that come with it, don’t hesitate to get in touch. The answers you need could be a phone call away.