Fitting Into Your Hearing Devices
The process of getting hearing aids fitted to perfection can take anywhere between an hour to two hours. Getting your hearing aids fitted can be an exciting new beginning for your hearing experience as you slowly begin to hear sounds that you may not have heard in a very long time. With so much to gain from obtaining hearing aids, it is surprising that people wait for as long as 7-10 years before they finally obtain hearing instruments to rectify their hearing loss.
Your appointment for your hearing aid fitting will require an additional testing round, known as the real ear measure. This test ensures that the level of amplification that is being generated from the hearing aids and whether this amplification is sufficient to rectify your specified level of hearing loss. During this process a probe is placed next to your hearing aid within your ear canal where a calibrated tone is sent from the probe into your hearing device. Your audiologist will then determine whether the sounds you hear are too loud, whether the softer sounds are audible, and whether the average sound you hear is at a comfortable level.
After the completion of the real ear measure, your audiologist will have a lengthy discussion with you regarding your hearing aids which will equip you with sufficient information about the use and maintenance of your hearing aids. You will gain specific information regarding how to keep your hearing aids clean, when to change your hearing aid batteries, steps to take in the event of moisture entering your hearing aids, and information about additional accessories. If this is your first time obtaining hearing aids, your audiologist will probably give you a wearing schedule to help you get through your very first week wearing your hearing aids. The schedule is generated to help guide you so that your brain can become gradually adjusted to receiving sound signals that were hitherto unheard.
It is important to note that wearing new hearing aids takes an adjustment period to get used to, and the first fitting may not always result in a 100% success. This is why your hearing health professional will schedule another appointment so that they can check and readjust your hearing aids after you have worn them for some time.
Developing a trusting relationship with your hearing practitioner is important so that you can have a smooth transition into the hearing world by following their recommendations. English and Kasewurm conducted a study in 2012 which found that people with hearing aids who had a high level of trust with their audiologist had a high likelihood (90%) of following their audiologist’s recommendations. Conversely, those people with hearing aids who had low levels of trust with their audiologist only followed their audiologist’s recommendation half the time.