What Happens at a Hearing Aid Fitting
You had a hearing test and chose a pair of hearing aids. Two weeks later the audiologist sees you back for a hearing aid fitting. What happens at this appointment?
The importance of the fitting appointment
Up to this point all the tests have been to identify what your hearing can’t do, such as hear certain frequencies or volumes of sound. This allows the audiologist to advise on the device, such as hearing aids, most likely to correct the deficit. Once the hearing aids arrive at the clinic, the audiologist programs in the amplifications that will help you hear clearly.
The fitting appointment is a chance to ensure the theory (i.e. the results of your hearing test) match the practical (an improved ability to hear.) As well as checking the device fits comfortably, this visit allows the audiologist to make adjustments to what you hear, with the device in place.
Feedback on your hearing
Along with hearing more clearly, the sound amplified from hearing aids needs to be at a comfortable volume. There’s little point in having a hearing device that you don’t use because it feels like everyone is shouting inside your head.
We all have a different tolerance for noise. Think of a noisy neighbor who enjoys music turned up the max, while it gives you a headache. To this end, you wear the device while the audiologist plays a variety noises at different volumes. This helps set the devices amplification levels.
What are real ear measures?
In addition, the audiologist fine-tunes the device’s setting by taking real ear measurements. This involves passing a slim tube into your ear canal and measuring the actual volume of sounds near your eardrum. This action is repeated, but with the hearing device in place, giving the audiologist actual measurements of how much the device is increasing the volume of the sounds you hear.
From this information, the audiologist will have full confidence to say the device is programmed correctly and providing the assistance you need.
This is also a chance for the audiologist to tutor you on how to insert the hearing device in your ear, change the batteries and undertake routine daily cleaning. The audiologist will likely also explain how to get used to wearing a hearing device. This can be challenging for some, as the intrusion of noise can be something of a shock after years of muffled background sounds.
Training is to be expected, but it can feel like a hurdle when you’re new to hearing aid technology. However, with a little guidance about how to deal with a sudden influx of noise, you’ll have the confidence to make a flying start with your newly rediscovered ability to hear. Moving forward, as you become used to the device, you may find further adjustments are required. This is fine, and it’s perfectly normal to have a second, third or even fourth fitting appointment until you are completely satisfied.