For many people, admitting that their hearing loss has become severe enough to need assistance is the hardest step in seeking help. Once people accept that they need help, they will discover the tests are, in fact, painless. Hearing aid fittings are actually quite simple. Consumers should keep in mind hearing aids are not a single device to be plucked off a shelf and put in the ear. Instead, when buying a hearing aid, they are chosen to match the needs of the patient and to fit properly into the ear. This careful selection ensures people receive the maximum benefit from their device and have an hearing device that is secure and comfortable to wear.
Before the Hearing Aid Fitting
The first step in the process starts with an appointment with an audiologist. These specialized doctors perform tests to determine the level of hearing loss the patient is experiencing. They also discuss with the patient their personal habits and needs. An explanation of features available in hearing aids is given, and at that point, the audiologist and patient will work together to find the best possible hearing aid device. By taking the time to understand the lifestyle and hearing environments of each patient, the audiologist will be able to provide appropriate advice about choosing a hearing aid. There are many different types of hearing aids, so the audiologist wants to make certain they are helping their patient choose the model that will work comfortably with their lifestyle. To do this, an impression of the ear and canal may be performed if it is necessary, and then the audiologist will order the device.
During the Hearing Aid Fitting
A hearing aid fitting will confirm all of the decisions made beforehand were correct. A tube will be inserted into the ear canal to measure the volume of any sounds reaching the eardrum. They then add the hearing aid along with the probe to help balance sounds correctly. The hearing aid is adjusted, making it comfortable for the individual and providing them the best result at a variety of different sound levels. Specialists want to make certain the volume is sufficient to hear clearly, without being too loud. Next, they will help the patient practice inserting and removing the device and cover the basic care and maintenance involved such as battery replacement. This ensures the user is comfortable with their new device when they leave the shop.
After the Hearing Aid Fitting
Lifestyle changes, like a new work environment or decreased manual dexterity, may require new devices or adjustments after a hearing aid fitting. Sandia Hearing Aid Center in Colorado Springs uses their preliminary visits to discuss this with their patients to help them remain aware of the possibility of needing additional help. These same experts also provide assistance if adjustment of the device is needed later on or with troubleshooting problems if any arise.
Most hearing aids will last for approximately 3-5 years before a replacement is needed. An annual hearing test identifies any changes in hearing that may be difficult to detect otherwise. Hearing loss often happens gradually and people may mistakenly believe that their hearing device will prevent any further hearing problems down the road. At any portion of the process, Sandia Hearing Aid Center offers these annual tests as well as fittings, repairs and much more.