Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aids
Hearing loss can be a difficult and challenging experience, but with the right care and support, it is possible to manage your hearing loss effectively. One of the most important parts of managing hearing loss is getting professionally fitted for hearing aids. Hearing aids are an invaluable tool for those with hearing loss, providing improved sound quality, noise reduction, direct connectivity to cell phones, amplified speech, and better communication. Let’s take a closer look at why hearing aids are important for those with hearing loss, as well as what you can expect when you visit for a fitting appointment.
What to Expect at an Appointment for Fitting Hearing Aids
At your fitting appointment, our experienced and licensed hearing care professionals will assess your level of hearing loss and fit you with the best type of hearing aid for your needs. They will also explain how to use and care for your device so that you get the most out of it. We utilize Speech Mapping probe microphone measurements during the fitting process to make sure that your device is providing optimal amplification levels. We strongly encourage family members or friends to attend this appointment so they can help support you during this process.
Positive Attitude Is a Key Success Factor With Hearing Aids
It is important to approach wearing a hearing aid with a positive attitude—this is essential in order to get the most out of your device. It may take some time to adjust to wearing a hearing aid; however, once you become accustomed to it, you will find that it greatly improves both your quality of life and communication abilities.
In the past, licensed hearing professionals would often program hearing aids to give a patient their complete prescription of volume on the day of their first fitting in an effort to immediately bring their hearing up to within normal range. We now know that hearing loss happens gradually and if a patient is given all their prescription volume at once in the beginning, it can be very overwhelming. This explains why many of us have heard “bad hearing aid stories”...people that purchased hearing aids, took them home and put them in a drawer where they still remain to this day.
At Lifetime Hearing Clinic, we understand patients need to gradually reacclimate to hearing at a normal level again, like climbing a mountain. The goal for the day of the first fitting is for the patient to hear better than when they walked in the door but for the hearing aids to be so comfortable in fit and sound quality that they often go unnoticed. We then program the hearing aids to very gradually, automatically on their own, increase the volume in discrete steps daily over several weeks until the patient is finally at their optimal prescription for speech understanding (usually over an 8 week period). We have found if you gradually give the brain increased sound in small, discrete steps, the increase in volume often goes unnoticed. We often compare it to “sitting on your porch watching the grass grow…the grass is growing but you’re not going to catch it growing…then eventually, you realize the grass has grown!” This gradual approach is highly successful but it requires a commitment on the patient’s part to wear the hearing aids all day, every day!
The Importance of Managing Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids
Managing hearing loss through proper care and treatment can have a hugely positive impact on your quality of life. An important part of this process is being fitted with the right type of hearing aid that suits your needs. At our audiology clinic we provide comprehensive support throughout this process—from REM measurements at fitting appointments through programming and cleaning services—so that you get maximum benefit from your device over its lifetime. We invite you to come see us if you are considering getting fitted for hearing aids!