Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting
After you have selected your hearing aids at your hearing aid evaluation/consultation, an appointment will be scheduled to fit you with your new hearing devices. At this appointment, the audiologist will program the devices based on a prescription determined from your hearing loss, lifestyle requirements and their years of knowledge and expertise. The audiologist will explain how to use the devices, how to insert them in the ear and how to remove them, how to change batteries/or use a charger, how to care for and clean the devices, and how to use any accessories or phone apps you may have. The audiologist will also counsel you on acclimating to your new devices and the world of sound you have been missing.
When you put the hearing aids in for the first time, you may have different emotions about the sounds you hear. This is normal and to be expected. For most individuals, it has been 7-10 years since they have heard normally, and it takes time for the brain to re-learn how to hear. The goal of the hearing aid is to make everyday sounds audible and comfortable, but the sound you hear should be clear and pleasant. Small changes can be made at the initial fitting, however most changes are made after you have worn them in your own environments for awhile. While prescriptive measures are used to initially program your instruments, there is always the element of the individual’s personal preferences for sound that need to be considered. The audiologist also may do some additional testing to make sure the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it.
You may be also be given a short survey or list of questions to answer. Be honest about what you hear so that the audiologist can work with you to create the best listening experience with your new hearing aids. Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place. Further changes to customize the hearing to your liking may need to take place . As you wear the hearing aids in more situations and adapt to all the new sounds you are hearing, you will have follow up appointments where further adjustments can be made.
Attitude is key to being successful with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude do better with hearing aids. If you, as well as your spouse or family, approach your hearing aid fitting with a positive outlook you will have a much better listening experience and adjust to your hearing aids more quickly. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing, and by working closely with your audiologist, you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.
It is always a good idea to bring family members, or close friends, to the hearing aid fitting so they can help remember all the information that is given and can support to you.