Once you have made your decision about hearing aids, they will either be ordered from the manufacturer (in the case of custom hearing aids or other devices that are not kept in the clinic) or taken out of stock. The next step is to have the hearing aids fitted to your individual prescription and to the physical size and shape of your ear. Dr. Hoffmann, along with our licensed hearing aid dispenser, will ensure that the hearing aids fit your ear comfortably and securely. Then, using the latest research and technology, she will adjust the sound of your new hearing aids to precisely meet your needs and verify that they are meeting your prescription. Finally, she will take the time to explain the care and use of the hearing aids and ensure that all of your questions are answered and that you are completely comfortable with the new devices. The entire fitting process normally takes 60 to 90 minutes.
During your first weeks and months with your new hearing aids it is normal to need small adjustments or additional instruction. We encourage a follow-up appointment within a week or two of the initial fitting, and a second follow-up within the next one to three months. Depending upon individual circumstances there may be more or fewer follow-ups, and there is never any cost for these appointments.
Whether you are an experienced hearing aid user or are brand new to them, adapting to new hearing aids takes some time. It is absolutely normal for users to report that their new devices sound a bit loud or unnatural, especially with the user’s own voice. The great majority of hearing aid wearers find that these problems disappear within a few days of use. With a positive attitude – and the support of Dr. Hoffmann and our licensed hearing aid dispenser – you will soon find that your new hearing aids give you the sound you need to help you experience your best possible hearing!
If the hearing aids are in stock fitting can often be done on the same day. Custom and other non-stock devices need to be ordered from the manufacturer, which usually takes three to ten days. The actual fitting process normally requires 60 to 90 minutes.
In most cases, new hearing aid users will note that their own voices sound amplified, and that certain external sounds like running water and crumpling paper can be sharp or harsh. This is a natural result of hearing sounds at full volume after many years of not hearing them naturally due to hearing loss. As the brain readjusts to hearing these sounds at a healthy volume, they will again become normal and natural. In most cases, this process begins almost immediately and lasts several weeks.
It is normal for new hearing aid users to return to the clinic one to three times during the first months for minor adjustments. We also encourage our patients to return once a year for a retest – if the test shows changes in hearing, the hearing aid programming will be readjusted to compensate.
Most of today’s hearing aids have volume controls either mounted on the aid itself or available on an easy-to-use app for your cell phone. Modern hearing aids also do a very good job of automatically adjusting themselves based upon the wearer’s environment. Make sure that you bring up specific needs with Dr. Hoffmann!