Now it’s time to prepare for your hearing aid fitting. To help alleviate any anxiety you may be feeling, here is what you should expect to go on during this important visit.
How long will this take?
You should expect to spend somewhere between one and two hours during this first appointment. While that may seem long, it is important for you and your hearing aid provider to take your time and ensure your hearing aids will fit comfortably and that you know exactly how to use, maintain, and care for them.
What will we discuss?
You can expect an orientation session on how to use all of the features of your new hearing aids, how to clean and maintain them, and how to keep them safe and functioning at peak performance. Your hearing aid provider should also make sure your expectations are correctly set in order to avoid feelings of disappointment or discouragement that may lead to nonuse.
Your hearing aid provider will use special software to match the hearing aids to your preferences and set up different programs for different situations. This orientation and initial set up will likely take up the bulk of your time.
Should I expect more tests?
Probably just one. A test called a real ear or probe microphone measure will assess whether the hearing aids have been accurately constructed to perform in your ears. It can actually measure the sounds entering the hearing aids and if they meet your hearing loss needs. The test will use either speech or a calibrated tone to which you will react as directed.
The hearing aids should fit and work perfectly — right?
That would be nice, but it is more likely that some adjustments will be required. If this is your first time wearing hearing aids of any kind, your provider should give you a wearing schedule that will tell you how long and under what circumstances you should wear your hearing aids for the first week or so. If you have had reduced hearing for several years, it may take some time for your brain to get used to hearing sounds it hasn’t for a long time.
Fit includes more than just how the physical hearing aid fits in or on your ear. It also refers to the audiogram used to tailor your hearing aids to your specific volume and situational listening needs. While this is a solid method, it should be viewed as the starting point, not the end, as adjustments will likely be needed.
For example, it may turn out that the initial assessment for volume is actually too loud for your preference. Or it may simply be that you need time to get used to sounds in all their forms—including those that are annoying, irritating, or otherwise perturbing. Go in with the expectation that your hearing aids will need to be adjusted, probably more than once or twice during several follow-up visits. Patience is the key to success.
What else should I know by the time I leave?
You should have learned the following:
- How to change and discard batteries (unless hearing aids are rechargeable).
- How any advanced features work, such as tinnitus therapy signals, T-coil, looping systems.
- How to change programs, adjust volume, or make any other adjustments that aren’t automated.
- How to clean and maintain your hearing aids.
- How to program and use remote controls and other accessories.
Your hearing aid provider should also give you any supporting documentation, such as an instruction guide, cleaning tools, a storage case, and a supply of batteries. And, of course, all your questions and concerns should have been addressed to your satisfaction. Expect that your hearing aid provider will contact you in a few days to see how you’re doing, answer any additional questions, or arrange for a follow up appointment if needed.
Contact a hearing care professional
Call 855-355-9064 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to get your hearing tested by a professional now. With both you and your hearing aid provider committed to your success, your new life with hearing aids should progress and improve.