8 FAQs about Hearing Aid Fitting Appointments
Buying and adjusting to hearing aids is a process that takes several appointments. You will have a hearing test, a hearing aid fitting and a follow-up appointment. Here are some frequently asked questions about the fitting appointment.
1. Why do you need a fitting appointment?
Hearing is subjective and personal. What may be too loud for you is perfect for another person. That’s why the fit and programming of a hearing aid must be verified and in some cases adjusted. The fitting appointment maximizes your hearing experience with hearing aids.
2. What is the goal of the hearing aid fitting?
Comfort. At the end of the fitting, your hearing aids should be comfortable to wear, deliver sound at a comfortable level and you should be comfortable inserting and removing your hearing aids as well as caring for them.
3. Does it take long?
You don’t want to rush this process because it is vital to a successful experience with hearing aids. Most fittings take at least an hour.
4. What happens during at the fitting?
The audiologist will check your ears with the otoscope. This is just to make sure you don’t have any excess earwax and to plan the real ear measurement portion of the exam. If you have earmolds, the fit will be checked. A real ear measure will be made for both ears to see if the hearing aids are delivering sound as you need it. Since everyone hears differently, this portion of the fitting is where the audiologist makes adjustments.
5. Is that all that happens?
No. The audiologist will go over caring for your hearing aids. You will learn how to clean, store and change the batteries. You’ll practice inserting and removing the hearing aids and turning them on and off. If your hearing aids have features such as a telecoil, you’ll learn how to use this as well. Lastly, the audiologist will provide you with a plan for initially wearing your hearing aids during the adjustment period.
6. What is an adjustment period?
When you live with undiagnosed hearing loss, your brain isn’t adequately stimulated. Lack of aural input puts that portion of your brain in hibernation, like a bear in winter. Once you put your hearing aid in, that area of your brain will be stimulated and it’s like waking up from a long winter’s nap. All the sounds can overwhelm your brain. Sounds may seem excessively loud or confusing. Your audiologist will instruct you on how to wear your hearing aids for successively longer periods of time each day. You may be told to read aloud to become accustomed to the sound of your own voice.
7. This all sounds very difficult. Is wearing and caring for hearing aids hard?
It’s not hard, it’s just new. With practice, you will wear your hearing aids without a second thought and fully engage in the world around you. Routine maintenance will become as routine as washing your face or brushing your teeth. It just takes an adjustment period.
8. What happens if I have a problem after the fitting?
Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call the audiologist office if you have questions. Your audiologist is your partner in better hearing.