Treating Hearing Loss

10 Things to Ask at Your First Fitting

The results of your audiogram, along with your own comments about how you hear in a variety of listening environments, will help determine the optimum settings for your hearing aids.

Mature female doctor hearing specialist in her office trying hearing aid equipment to a patient elderly senior woman

While fitting your hearing aids, your hearing care professional adjusts them by measuring how well you can hear. At your first fitting, you will be taught how to operate your hearing aids and how to hear best in different situations. Your hearing care professional will also offer tips for communicating while wearing hearing aids, encourage you to practice inserting and removing the devices, and instruct you in their cleaning and maintenance, including proper battery use and storage. You should also expect to schedule an appointment for your first follow-up visit about a week later.

Your first fitting is a good opportunity to ask your hearing care professional whatever you want in order to prepare for your new life with hearing aids. Not sure what to ask? We have compiled a list of the top ten questions:

1. How should I care for and maintain my hearing aids?

Not knowing the proper maintenance routine for your hearing aids could result in unnecessary damage as a result of dirt or moisture buildup. Your hearing care professional can provide you with tips on how best to minimize exposure to harmful materials and keep your hearing aids running like new.

2. How often should I clean my hearing aids?

Depending on the model, a hearing care professional will recommend different strategies to keep your hearing aids clean. Some of these will need to be performed every day, while others are only necessary occasionally or as problems arise.

3. Should I wear my new hearing aids all the time right from the start or follow a specific schedule to get used to them?

Some people find it easier to adapt to their hearing aids by wearing them every waking hour once they’ve been fitted, while others set a schedule for themselves in order to adjust at a more regulated pace.

4. What happens if I don’t like the way my hearing aids sound?

Problems with wind noise, feedback, or whistling could be the result of an improper fitting or programming. If your hearing aids aren’t providing you with optimal sound, the best method is to contact your hearing care professional for a follow-up visit.

5. My new hearing aids have so many gadgets on them—can you show me how to work each one?

When it comes to hearing aids, it can be difficult to keep up with rapidly advancing technology. Since many new hearing aids come installed with features that didn’t exist a few years ago, it is very important to know how about their functionality. Your hearing care professional can identify which features, accessories, and apps are the most essential, as well as teach you how to synchronize your various devices.

6. (For hearing aids without rechargeable batteries) How do I know it’s time to change my battery, and how do I do so?

Improper battery care could lower the amount of charge that your hearing aids can hold, and replacing a battery without the proper tools may damage the interior circuitry. To avoid losing battery life in an important situation, ask your hearing care professional about the best ways to keep your batteries long-lasting and how to replace them once they no longer work as well as they used to.

7. Do I need to schedule a follow-up appointment today?

To restore your hearing, patience and follow-up visits will be required. Don’t expect a return to perfect hearing immediately after your fitting. Forming a partnership with your hearing care professional is highly recommended. This way, they can answer your questions and make any adjustments or repairs to your devices as needed. The number of follow-ups will vary for every set of ears, but patients should anticipate several visits as they begin their hearing improvement process.

8. What should I do if my hearing aids accidentally get wet?

Because the electrical components are so sophisticated, exposure to water can do serious permanent damage that is not always repairable. In some instances, moisture exposure can be reversed, though it is not recommended that you make any repairs at home. A hearing care professional can help answer any questions about warranties or replacements if your hearing aids get wet and stop functioning. You should consider getting highly water-resistant hearing aids (rated IP67 or higher) if you frequently engage in activities involving exposure to water or heavy perspiration.

9. What kind of routine service and repair will my hearing aids need? Is it all covered by the warranty?

Like most electronic gadgets, hearing aids come with manufacturer warranties. While these often differ depending on the manufacturer, these warranties typically cover repairs, loss, and damage. These can be extended beyond the initial offer, but most manufacturers don’t provide warranties beyond four years. Contact your health care professional or insurance provider to see if hearing aid maintenance is covered under your policy.

10. What happens if I’m unhappy with my hearing aids?

Typically, hearing aids are refundable when purchased from a licensed practitioner or distributor following a medical examination. Before purchasing a new pair, ask your vendor about any return or exchange policies that may prevent you from getting a full refund if you aren’t totally satisfied with your hearing aids.

Ask a hearing care professional

By asking these and other questions during your fitting, you will increase the likelihood of adapting quickly and successfully to your new hearing aids. Schedule an appointment online if you haven’t already made one.