Is wearing a hearing aid a life-long commitment?

After I have tested your hearing it is important for me to explain your results thoroughly. I love it when patients lean forward and engage. I encourage you to ask as many questions as you wish as it helps me to direct the discussion to areas which you are most interested or concerned about. By asking questions it helps me to personalize your care.

Then comes the fitting process. Have you noticed that I said process? This is because a hearing aid fitting does not happen during one appointment. It is a journey.

At a hearing aid fitting appointment, I make sure the hearing aid is physically comfortable in your ear/s. Thereafter I connect your hearing aids to the computer and program the hearing aids according to your specific hearing loss. The computer software calculates the quantity of sound which is needed at each pitch. If you are a first-time hearing aid user, you may feel that when sound is brought back to you all at once it can be overwhelming. If too much sound is brought back too soon it can create discomfort and result in not wearing aids.

During an initial fit I will re-introduce sound; however, I will not give you all total volume which is required. This allows your BRAIN to acclimatize to the new incoming signal. A week later you may find yourself saying “It appears I am still missing out on some words and sounds.” You are quite right! You can see how quickly your brain has become used to hearing a certain amount of sound. At the follow up appointment we will increase the volume. People take different lengths of time to acclimatize which is why each person’s journey is tailor-made. It is also very important for me to objectively and subjectively measure whether the hearing aids are giving you the correct/desired quantity of sound at each pitch. At NB Hearing we use Free Field Audiometry (test your hearing with your hearing aids on by presenting sounds through speakers in a soundproof booth) and Real Ear Measurements (REMS). To watch a video explaining what REMS is click here. It is also very helpful for me when you try to keep a sound diary of the sounds you think you may still be missing and the sounds which you are now able to hear again.

During the follow-up appointments I explain how to look after your hearing aids. Th cleaning and maintenance of your hearing aid is very important as the better you look after them, the longer they will provide you with good quality sound.

Finally, it is recommended that you see your audiologist for an annual check up to make sure you are getting the most out of your hearing aids. Annual check-ups also allow you to stay informed about the advancements in hearing aid technology. If you notice any changes in your hearing or audiological symptoms, I encourage you to notify your audiologist as soon as possible as a check-up may be needed sooner.

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– By Anne Budden