A Crucial Part of Getting the Most From Your Devices
Better hearing is an amazing journey — not a transaction. That’s why Lafayette Hearing Center’s services include fitting and follow-up, helping you make the most of critical technology customized to your communication needs. Here’s what to expect with our hearing aid fitting and follow-up process.
Making Sure Your New Hearing Aids Fit
The first and most basic step is making sure your hearing aids fit and are designed so that you can get them in and out of your ears. Sometimes this takes some practice. Your provider will make sure that the devices are the right size and shape to fit your ears physically. Occasionally, a device that might look like it fits well at first will be uncomfortable over time, and if this is the case, we will work to change your devices so that they do fit well. Determining a good fit can sometimes take several visits. A good fit means you can put your devices in your ears and forget about them, rather than have them bother you throughout the day because they feel funny.
Programming Your Devices and Verifying They Meet Your Specific Needs
Setting your devices to provide the right kind of amplifications of the right sounds at the correct pitches is important. Your provider will make measurements with your devices while they are in your ears using a tiny tube microphone. This is referred to as making “probe microphone measurements” or “real ear measures,” or you might see this process referred to as “speech mapping.” The microphone in your ear will record different kinds of sounds and your provider will make sure your devices are set to provide the right amount of sound for your hearing loss. They’ll base the programming on your audiogram — which was developed at your hearing evaluation — and your lifestyle.
Your audiogram indicates:
- The frequencies that need to be amplified and by how much
- The frequencies that you can hear normally
- The frequencies that can remain loud but might need adjusting to minimize discomfort
Based on your audiogram, your provider will confirm for each frequency whether the volume reaching your eardrum, produced by your hearing technology, is the correct amount.
Your provider will also conduct text-box measurements to further document the settings of your hearing technology. The test box helps verify that the hearing aid’s features work as described by the manufacturer and records how they work in a controlled environment under standardized conditions. Examples of different types of test-box measures include verification of noise reduction settings, verification that directional microphones are working correctly, battery operation, and other functions.
This part of the visit is where you first experience the benefits of your hearing aids. Especially for those who have a loved one with them at the appointment, this can be an emotional and profound moment.
Learning About Features and Maintenance
Hearing aid developers make sure today’s hearing aids are as user-friendly as possible. But you still need to learn the basics. So by the time you leave your fitting appointment, you should start to understand:
- How to change and dispose of batteries — if your hearing aids are rechargeable, you’ll learn the features of the charging station
- How to change the settings on your hearing aids including adjusting the volume or how to make any other adjustments that aren’t automated
- How to clean and maintain your hearing aids
- How basic features work, such as connecting via T-coil to a looping system
- How advanced features work, such as streaming audio from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids
- How to use remote controls and other accessories
You’ll also get an instruction guide, cleaning tools, a storage case, and a supply of batteries or a charging station. Your provider will have you practice putting your hearing aids in and taking them out of your ears. Your provider may also have you practice some phone calls if you use a smartphone.
Understanding What’s Ahead
Today’s hearing aids are technologically sophisticated and easy to use, but they’re not a grab-and-go solution. When you are trying hearing aids for the first time, your brain is, in a sense, out of practice of hearing. All of a sudden, it has to make sense of sounds it hasn’t heard in a long time. The longer you’ve gone without hearing help, the longer it can take to get used to hearing more sounds again, and you need a more gradual approach for your hearing rehabilitation. Family and friends are often eager for you to hear better, and they also have to be patient as you learn to hear again with your hearing aids.
That’s where the adjustment period comes in. Your provider will discuss this in more detail, so you know what to expect. Easing you into this new world of sound is the best way to ensure success. Everyone works through the initial stages of adapting to hearing aids in their own, unique way. We are here to help you be successful.
Scheduling Follow-Up Appointments
After being fit with your new hearing aids, we will want to see you back within a short amount of time to follow up with you. You will not remember everything about your new hearing aids from that first appointment, and you will have questions that we will want to answer. You will need additional follow-up appointments as well to make sure you are adapting well to using your new hearing technology.
That’s why you’ll schedule a follow-up appointment. The provider will look forward to your feedback and descriptions of your listening experiences so that they can improve your listening experience. You’ll also no doubt have questions you’ve thought of since the fitting appointment. This is also a good opportunity to review information that you might have needed more help on — like how to clean your aids or how to use them with your phone. It’s hard to remember everything from that first appointment.
Once you are in a good place with your hearing aids, we will schedule you for a follow-up visit in 6 months. Sometimes our patients with new technology need us before that 6 month follow-up appointment, and we can always move it up if necessary. Either way, we do want to see you in six months because that is a good place to make sure everything is still working like it was at your initial fitting appointment.
Sharing Your Thoughts
Don’t hesitate to speak up with any questions or concerns. Our main focus is you hearing better. We want you to leave the fitting appointment feeling confident and excited about the possibilities. Think of your provider as a knowledgeable partner dedicated to helping you on your better-hearing journey!
At Lafayette Hearing Center, our comprehensive hearing aid fittings and follow-up care are aimed to support and empower you. So don’t wait. To learn more about the process or get expert help for hearing difficulties, contact our highly trained team today!