Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting
Once you have selected your hearing aids after an evaluation, your hearing professional will program them, based on a prescription, to meet your hearing needs. The hearing professional will explain how to use the devices, how to put them in the ear and how to remove them, how to change or charge batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. This appointment will generally take at least one hour, possibly more, so ensure you allot enough time. It is also a good idea to bring a family member or close friend to the hearing aid fitting so they can help remember all the information that is given and be a support to you. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for written instructions, which can help you better retain the information.
Understanding your hearing aids
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. 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 to the hearing aids at your first fitting if there are things that you feel should be adjusted right away. The hearing professional should do additional testing to make sure that the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it. Additionally, remember to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have with your professional.
Fitting your hearing aids
You may be also be given a short survey or list of questions to answer. Be honest about what you hear so that the hearing professional can work with you to create the best listening experience with your new hearing aids. Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place; other changes to customize the hearing to your liking may need to take place over a few appointments.
Adjusting to hearing aids
Attitude is one important key to success 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 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 hearing professional, you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.
In the past, hearing evaluations and fittings for hearing aids consisted mostly of a series of beeps and noises. Today, audiologists are equipped with new technologies and methods to make the hearing evaluation process and hearing aid programming process more effective.
One of the more advanced technologies available is real ear verification, a method of fitting hearing aids using speech as a stimulus to help the specialist adjust hearing aids to the right settings for each wearer. Real ear verification makes fitting appointments more interactive and can reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming.
What is Real Eear Verification?
Real ear verification is a hearing aid verification method that is used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. With this method, small microphones placed in the ear canal are used to measure the response of the hearing aid in your ear taking into account the natural and individual characteristics of both your ear and your hearing loss. For your real ear verification appointment, you will be asked to bring along a family member or close friend to act as the “gauge” in your ability to hear live voices.
Your hearing care professional will have high-tech equipment that will allow him or her to “see” what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time. The results may also be displayed on a wall-mounted screen so that you can also see the adjustments and participate in the process. This allows both you and your family members to visualize and understand the differences that hearing aids can make in your hearing ability.
Benefits of Real Ear Verification
Real ear verification is known for its accuracy. Without speech mapping verification, other methods to program your hearing aid may require additional adjustments. Real ear verification increases the chances that your hearing aid programming will be done correctly on the first try.
Real ear verification also creates a much more positive fitting experience by allowing both you and your family to see the immediate results of your hearing aids and their positive impact on your ability to hear. Both you and your family will be engaged in the fitting process, making it a joint affair.
If you have a hearing loss, you may not be able to fully understand what you can and cannot hear, and therefore, you may not understand everything you are missing. With speech mapping, you will have the ability to hear the improvements immediately, and you will be shown exactly what you can and cannot hear in real-time.
Benefits Real Ear Verification:
- Focuses on the important and basic function of being able to effectively hear human speech
- Engages both you and your family in the fitting process
- Provides immediate and tangible results
- Shown to increase successful outcomes of fittings
- Increases your confidence and comfort in using your new hearing aids
- Provides more accurate programming of hearing aids
- Reduces number of return visits
Contact your hearing health professional to find out how real ear verification can provide you with a more enjoyable hearing aid mapping experience.