You’ve made the decision to get hearing aids. Your hearing test appointment went well and you and your audiologist have chosen the best hearing aids to improve your hearing. The next step in this process is the hearing aid fitting. While you may be a little anxious, it’s a simple appointment. These are some of the most commonly asked questions about a hearing aid fitting.

How long will your appointment last?

Most hearing aid fittings take about an hour or a little longer. This appointment is important because your audiologist wants to make sure your hearing aids are comfortable and fit well and you know how to use and care for your new units.

Are the hearing aids ready to wear when you get there?

There are several necessary steps prior to inserting your hearing aids. First, your audiologist uses special software to program your hearing aids prior to your appointment. Next is a test to measure sound volume in your ear. A thin tube with a small microphone is inserted into your ear canal near your eardrum. It measures loud and soft sounds. Once those measurements are made, the tube is inserted again, this time with the hearing aid, to set amplification levels that are comfortable for you.

Will you have time to practice with your hearing aids?

Yes, this is an important part of the appointment. Your audiologist will demonstrate how your hearing aids work, how to insert and remove them, how to change the batteries and how to clean and care for them. You will wear them for a few hours after your appointment and then gradually increase the length of time to all day.

Is there a lot to remember?

Your audiologist will give you brochures and pamphlets and you can take notes during the appointment if you wish. It’s also helpful to have a family member or friend along for support and to remember information.

What will be different with hearing aids?

You will notice sounds you haven’t heard in a while, especially in a quiet room. It may seem as if your voice and others sound a little funny. It takes time for your brain to adjust to the new sounds. Your audiologist may suggest you begin wearing your units at home and then gradually work up to wearing them out. Background noise can be distracting at first, so it may take a few days to work up to going out to eat or to a party.

Is there a follow-up visit?

Some adjustments may have to be made so a follow-up visit is likely. It’s especially important to let your audiologist know immediately if your hearing aids are uncomfortable or are too loud or too soft. Studies show that if hearing aids don’t fit well, people don’t wear them, despite the investment.

These answers to questions about a hearing aid fitting hopefully will put you more at ease as you approach your appointment and move toward improved hearing.