A hearing aid fitting appointment is just as important as the hearing test appointment. During this appointment, your audiologist will get your hearing aids fitted properly and ensure that they are providing the correct amount of amplification for the best listening experience.
It’s a meticulous process and requires your active participation, which is why you should understand the processes and procedures to help you and your audiologist achieve the best hearing aid fitting results.
Here is what you can expect at a hearing aid fitting appointment:
The appointment usually takes about an hour. Much of this time is spent adjusting and testing the hearing aids. After that, the audiologist will teach you how to use, maintain, and care for them properly.
The first step is to ensure proper fit. If the hearing aids are custom-made, the doctor will place them into your ears and verify that they are secure, that they seal the ear properly, and that they are comfortable.
With non-custom hearing aids, the doctor will select the right parts for a comfortable, secure fit that will also allow the hearing aids to perform properly.
The next step is to program the hearing aids to match your prescription volume requirements. The hearing aids will be connected to a computer and, using the appropriate fitting software and the results of your hearing test, the doctor will program the hearing aids to give you the right amount of volume across the range of pitch.
This helps ensure that you will hear speech and environmental sounds at a comfortable, audible level. Then the doctor will use a testing tool called “Real Ear Measurement” to objectively verify that each hearing aid is truly doing what it is supposed to do while in the ear.
Once the programming is complete, the doctor will have an in-depth discussion with you about how you are hearing. This is to ensure that the sound of the new hearing aids is comfortable and reasonably natural. (It is completely normal for new hearing aids to sound a bit strange at first. As you continue to wear the hearing aids, the sound will become more and more natural to you.)
Now that the hearing aids are properly adjusted, the doctor will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable putting the hearing aids into your ears and taking them back out, and that you understand how to clean, maintain, and care for them.
This is the time to have your doctor clarify anything you may be unsure of, and you may also want to practice things like insertion and removal and changing batteries. This also can be a great opportunity to have a friend or family member observe and help you remember all the details.
Once you have a good understanding of the daily use of your new hearing aids, you should ask any questions you may have. Make sure you understand your warranties, the timing of follow-up visits, and that you know how to use any additional devices that may have been included with your hearing aids.
At the end of the visit, you will most likely be asked to return after a week or two for a follow-up appointment. This allows you to use your new hearing aids in your own environment to determine how well they are working for you.
It may be a good idea to write down a few notes at the end of each day about any listening situations that may have been difficult or uncomfortable for you. Bringing that notebook with you to your follow-up can help ensure that any issues are properly resolved.