Adaptation and selection of hearing aids

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An audiologist fits a man with hearing aids.

If hearing aids are recommended after testing your hearing, your hearing care professional will work with you to find the hearing aids that are right for you. This selection process, called hearing aids, begins with an assessment of your needs and ends with follow-up visits after custom programming your devices.

Hearing aid needs assessment

Everyone’s hearing loss is unique, so
it is important to choose the right hearing aids.

Your hearing care professional will begin the selection process by conducting an in-depth consultation with you to learn more about your lifestyle, expectations, personal preferences, and thoughts on your previous experiences with hearing aids. The results of your hearing test, along with this information, will help the professional gather some options for you to consider.

Hearing test results

Your hearing test will produce an audiogram that will help you and your hearing care professional choose the best style of hearing aid for you. The degree of your hearing loss will determine which styles are best for you, with smaller models generally suitable for milder hearing losses. If you’ve never worn a hearing aid before, this guide to hearing aid types and styles may be helpful.

What are your lifestyle needs?

When examining your hearing aid, it is important for the professional to get a sense of the lifestyle you desire. You may have gradually avoided certain environments and social situations as your hearing loss worsened. Now is the time to think about what you wish you could do with the help of your new hearing aids! For example, if you spend your evenings talking with family and friends on the phone, you will need a hearing aid that works well with your phone. If you work in a busy office, a hearing aid and hearing aids may be recommended to facilitate group conversations.

Typically, more advanced digital hearing aids are designed for people who face many different listening situations with varying degrees of background noise. For sedentary people who are mostly at home with little background noise, basic models may be recommended. (Keep in mind that if mobility or commuting is an issue, consulting an audiologist using telehealth may be an option.)

What are your preferences ?

There are many types of preferences that can affect the choice of hearing aids. Do you want almost invisible hearing aids, or do you prefer something big enough that you can choose a bright color and show off your style? Do you prefer to have control over the volume of your aids or do you prefer to have automated technology that modifies it for you? Want gadgets, like remotes and wireless accessories for your hearing aids?

Your preferences may be affected by your level of manual dexterity, especially when it comes to selecting your preferred style of hearing aid batteries. Do you prefer rechargeable batteries that you plug in every night? If not, will you be ready and able to change a small battery every few days to a few weeks? These are just a few of the preferences the hearing care professional will explore with you.

Have you ever worn hearing aids?

Finally, it is important to take into account any previous hearing aid experience when selecting a new hearing aid. Loved your last pair of hearing aids? Why? Did you like the style, the sound quality or something else? What did you have difficulty hearing with your old hearing aids? What new features would you like to try? This type of information will help your hearing care professional determine what you will need in your new hearing aids to maintain or improve your level of satisfaction.

Should I get one or two hearing aids?

Selection of hearing aids

After discussing your needs with your hearing care professional, you will usually be presented with a few recommended options at different prices. In some cases, you might be able to wear a demo hearing aid for a few hours or a few days to try it out. Once you have made your decision, the hearing care professional will order your selection and schedule your return at a later date for the initial hearing aid programming. If you have chosen a bespoke ITE style or earloop with eartip, your hearing care professional will take an impression of your ear canal to send with the order.

Initial programming of hearing aids

Two mature couples laughing at birthday celebration outdoors
The right hearing aid will give you
confidence to enjoy lively conversations
again.

When your hearing aid arrives at the hearing center, the hearing care professional will hook it up to the computer and calibrate it based on your hearing loss and preferences. Some professionals choose to do the programming before you arrive and some prefer to do it while you are there.

Adapt to hearing aids

Once the hearing aids are out of the box and in your ears, you will start to hear a lot of things that you haven’t heard in years. In fact, you might feel like everything is too loud at first. It will take time for your brain to relearn which sounds to ignore, such as the sound of your own footsteps or the rustle of your clothes. But don’t worry, your hearing care professional will do tests to make sure the hearing aid is properly adjusted for your hearing loss. You will also be advised on how to change the battery, use all features, clean and maintain your hearing aid. Learn more about understanding the different parts of a hearing aid.

Adapting to hearing aids takes time. Some people only need a day or two, but most people need a few weeks to a few months to adjust to hearing aid use. The important thing to remember is to wear them, even if it’s only a few hours the first day, an hour longer the next day, and so on until you have been wearing hearing aids all day.

Following: 7 tips to get used to your new hearing aids

Adding custom hearing aid settings

The “default” setting for most hearing aids focuses on speaking in quiet environments. But in the real world the sound is much more complex, especially if you are a musician or work in a noisy environment. Fortunately, your hearing care professional can add custom hearing aid settings for you, including music settings.

Infographic explaining hearing aid settings

Successful hearing aid fitting is as individual as you are. The right hearing care professional will take the time to understand your specific needs and tailor an approach that will get the best results. Use our consumer-rated directory to find suppliers and hearing aids near you.


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