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What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting
If your hearing test indicates a hearing loss, the audiologist will prescribe assistive devices to help you get the most of the hearing you have. The most common device is the hearing aid. Hearing aids are small and powerful and they are fitted and programmed just for you. Here’s what to expect during a hearing aid fitting.
Before the fitting
During your first appointment with the audiologist, you will have a complete examination of your ears and a complete hearing evaluation. The results of the hearing test will be charted on an audiogram. The audiologist will discuss the results with you.
As part of this discussion, different models and styles of hearing aids will be discussed. You and the audiologist will decide what features and models best fit your needs in terms of hearing assistance, lifestyle and budget.
Some hearing aids utilize an earmold. If the hearing aids you will wear require an earmold, an impression will be taken of your ears at this time. The audiologist will order your hearing aids and schedule an appointment for the actual hearing aid fitting.
On the day of the fitting
The first thing the audiologist will want to do is test the amount of amplification delivered by the hearing aid to your ear canal. This test is called a Real Ear Measure. It helps the audiologist determine if you are getting the amplification you need.
A small, thin tube will be placed in your ear canal to measure the volume of sound near your eardrum without the hearing aid. Don’t be afraid of this test, the tube does not hurt. Next, the audiologist will insert your hearing aid. They will then play sounds at many different levels. The audiologist will be measuring the sound level at the output of your hearing aid. This process sets the hearing aid programs to provide amplification that is sufficient for hearing, but not at an uncomfortable level.
The audiologist will also check the fitting of the earmold. If your hearing aids do not fit properly, sound will escape and be picked up the by the microphone. This creates whistling or feedback. Properly fitted earmolds should not create feedback.
Finally, the audiologist will teach you how to take care of your hearing aids. Make sure you understand all care instructions. Practice inserting and removing the hearing aids. Also, remove and insert the batteries to make sure you understand the process.
Adjusting to your hearing aids
Before you leave, the audiologist will give you instructions for adjusting to wearing your hearing aids. For a successful adjustment, it is important to wear your hearing aids as long as instructed each day. Your brain needs practice adjusting to the new level of sound, and the more practice it gets the faster it will catch on.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the audiologist’s office.