When your audiologist recommends hearing aids, the selection is only the beginning of the process. Equally important is the fitting, which involves programming your hearing aids and making adjustments to provide the correct levels of amplification for your specific type of hearing loss. Counseling ensures that you have realistic expectations and is crucial for long-term success.
What Is Hearing Aid Counseling?
Before you ever start using hearing aids, you’ll receive counseling to prepare you for this change in your lifestyle. While hearing aids will undoubtedly improve your communication abilities, it is essential to understand they are not a cure for hearing loss and have certain limitations. Learning what to expect beforehand helps you achieve the maximum benefit from your devices.
How Are Hearing Aids Fitted?
When fitting patients for hearing aids, real-ear measurements provide a level of accuracy unavailable with software programs. The gold standard of hearing aid fitting considers an individual’s unique anatomy, such as ear canal volume, providing a true measurement of a hearing aid’s effectiveness for that patient’s specific hearing loss. Without an accurate assessment of a hearing aid’s amplification levels, a patient can walk away with a hearing aid that delivers substandard performance.
Not all audiologists use real-ear measurements—the process can be time-consuming, especially for experts who are unfamiliar with the equipment, which can be expensive.
Your audiologist at Gary D. Schwartzberg Au.D. will check the physical fit to make sure your hearing aids are comfortable. They will then be programmed and adjusted based on your hearing loss and lifestyle needs. The hearing aids will be placed in your ears and turned on, which allows your audiologist to measure the volume levels to ensure that you hear the full range of sounds correctly.
Your specialist will then discuss the care and maintenance of your hearing aids. You will learn how to use them correctly, adjust for different hearing environments, insert and remove them, change the batteries and clean and care for them properly. You will also learn tips and strategies for better communication.
What Kind of Follow-Up Care Can I Expect?
Your specialist will schedule a follow-up appointment a few weeks after your initial fitting. During this appointment, your audiologist will fine-tune and adjust your hearing aids as needed and answer any questions you may have. It may take a while to adjust your hearing aids to their maximum effectiveness, so additional appointments for adjustments may be needed.
Call Gary D. Schwartzberg Au.D. at (207) 226-0288 for more information or to schedule an appointment.