The most important thing to do during your hearing aid fitting is decide between the available options. The good news is that your audiologist can help.
For starters, there are a number of different kinds of hearing aids. Behind the ear, in the ear, and ‘in the canal’ devices are available. These types of hearing aids were each created to suit certain needs, while still fulfilling their role of ‘reversing’ hearing loss. But there are many more things to consider before you go ahead and make your purchase. Read on to find out more about how your audiologist can help you make your final choice!
The initial consultation
The first thing that your audiologist will do is ask you why you need a hearing aid. No, seriously! Of course, you want a hearing aid because you have difficulty hearing. But why does it bother you that you’re struggling to hear? Is it because you have to turn the TV all the way up? Is it because you can’t hear your partner, or you can’t make out what your children or grandchildren are trying to tell you? Or is it because you can’t hear the birdsong anymore during your morning walk?
That might all sound a little silly. But it’s useful information. Your audiologist will ask you questions just like these during your consultation. That’s because some brands, some styles and some models of hearing aid work better in certain situations and for certain situations. So, for example, somebody who wants to hear birdsong- but couldn’t care less about going to the cinema- needs a hearing aid that reproduces perfect clarity at higher frequencies, without the sound coming through as piercing and unpleasant. Whereas somebody who would rather go to the cinema than take a morning walk would prefer the exact opposite, a hearing aid that clearly distinguishes between lower frequency sounds without them coming through as muddy and ‘rumbly’.
Choosing which kind of hearing aid you would like
The first thing that you’ll do is choose what style of hearing aid you’d like. Three of the most common kinds are in the ear, over the ear, and in the canal. These are, respectively, hearing aids which sit snugly in the ear, those which need a hook or clip that sits on the outside of the ear, and those which sit inside the canal and are invisible from the outside. The image to the left shows example hearing aids of different sizes.
The point of there being so many kinds is that they each achieve different goals. In the canal hearing aids, for instance, are designed to be discreet. Larger hearing aids have more features like volume control or a directional microphone, and are able to last longer because of their larger batteries. Some high end models are able to boast great features, while still being quite small- but of course, they cost more than your average hearing aid.
Based on your preferences, your audiologist will recommend a device for you. You’re welcome to ask for a particular hearing aid you may have heard about from a friend or relative, although do bear in mind that there are a variety of styles and brands for a reason. What works for your friend might not work for you. Once you’ve made a choice, in conjunction with your audiologist, your initial consultation will be almost over.
Not only will your audiologist ask you a number of questions, but your audiologist will also take an impression of your ear and ear canal. This is so that they can confirm that the hearing aid you’ve chosen will fit snugly and be the right one, just for you.
The final hearing aid fitting
It’s important that during your hearing aid fitting, you’re honest about how comfortable your hearing aid is. Remember, you’ll be wearing it for the foreseeable future. Your audiologist will understand if you have to try out a few first before buying! Your hearing aid not being comfortable enough is the main reason you might want to choose another.
If you’re certain you’ve made the choice, you can go through with your hearing aid fitting. First, your audiologist will insert a tube into your ear. The point is to accurately measure the volume of sound hitting your ear drum. With this measurement, your audiologist can adjust your hearing aid. Why? So that it isn’t too loud or too quiet.
You can then take your time practicing taking your device out, and putting it back in. You’ll also receive some tips on basic maintenance so that you can keep your hearing aid working for longer.
You should be happy with your hearing aid after your hearing aid fitting. But if you aren’t, you can always contact your hearing center and talk to them about what’s bothering you. Does the hearing aid keep falling out? Is it uncomfortable? Is it not at the volume you would like? It’s important that your hearing aid should work just as you like it, otherwise, there’s little point in having one. But you aren’t alone, and hearing centers like ours are always happy to help returning customers with their hearing aids.
Sandia Hearing Aid Center offer annual checkups, just like a dentist. We offer initial consultations and fittings, but we also offer repairs and replacements to our many customers. So if you’re not happy with the hearing aid you got from us, feel free to give us a call.