Preparing for a Hearing Aid Fitting

May 21, 2020

Preparing for a Hearing Aid Fitting
 
Dr. Darcy Benson

Hearing loss is currently impacting nearly 40 million Americans nationally. They are struggling to obey conversations, sustain close relationships, and are facing lower living standards as a result. The good news is that in the last couple of years, hearing technology has improved dramatically, and if you have hearing loss, your hearing aid options are excellent, and you can find hearing aids that will help you hear in any listening environment.

If you’ve taken a hearing test recently, you might be considering hearing aids. This is an excellent idea; hearing aids could lead to better hearing and improved quality of life. But before you can begin to enjoy the benefits of hearing treatment, you need to start the fitting process

Successful fitting of hearing aids is more than merely choosing the right device for your hearing needs. The hearing aids need to be correctly fitted into your ears to provide the right amount of amplification to maximize their benefit.

To that end, it takes a little planning to make the most out of your fitting appointment. Here’s what we recommend.

 

Allow an entire morning.

Set aside lots of time when scheduling your trip to a get fitted for a hearing aid. You want to make sure you have time to ask a lot of questions and take notes as your hearing professional is likely to give you an abundance of information.  

Be ready to tell them about your lifestyle, any hobbies that you may have, and other specific needs that you hope a hearing aid will satisfy. This knowledge will help the hearing professional recommend the right device for you. The last thing you want to do is schedule your fitting alongside a day of other errands. You’re going to want to be careful and take your time because hearing aids are a significant investment.

 

Prepare yourself with questions.

Take time to gather your thoughts before coming to your appointment and compile a list of questions for your hearing professional to answer.  

There’ll be plenty of new information to take in, and it’s not a bad idea to take notes with a pen and paper or a digital device once your questions are answered. While the audiologist will probably send you away with handouts, do not hesitate to write down anything you find essential to remember. 

 

Be clear about what you want.

Allow some time to think about your hearing priorities before your meeting. Think of the moments you struggle with your hearing loss, and take notes of the kinds of circumstances you could do with some extra support. 

Do you struggle to hear in background noise, or during work meetings? Are you afraid of driving because you can’t be sure you’ll be able to hear all the sounds around you? Understanding your goals will allow your hearing professional to support you, and they will configure your hearing aids to work in these conditions in an optimum way.

 

Adjust your expectations.

The fact is that if you have experienced hearing loss for many years, it will take the brain some time to get used to processing sound that it hasn’t heard for a while.

That means an adjustment period will be needed. Hearing aids help you process and amplify the right sounds. This doesn’t happen immediately but requires a retraining of the brain’s hearing process. Retraining your hearing with hearing aids includes exposing yourself to sounds that you haven’t heard in a while. This new audio stimuli takes some getting used to. 

Because of this transition, it is also unlikely that you’ll be happy with your hearing aid programming after just one fitting. You’ll probably have to visit your hearing professional several times for readjustments.

Although this is a process, we urge you not to give up on your new hearing aids. It will take some time and maybe several visits to your hearing specialist before they start to work for you at their highest level, but do not give up! 

Eventually, you will begin to feel the full effects of your new hearing aid. The benefits are likely to be realized in an improved quality of your social connections, work performance, and overall quality of life.

If you have any questions about the hearing aid fitting process, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!