Fitting Your Hearing Aids
Using a computer and her vast experience, Sharon will program the digital hearing ads selected for you. Her experience as an audiologist will not only make the programming possible, it will enable her to teach you all about your new devices.
Together you will practice how to put them in your ear and how to remove them. You will learn how to change batteries (or use your recharger if the model you selected runs on rechargeable batteries). You will learn how to clean your hearing aids. In fact, there’s so much to learn, it is often a good idea to bring a family member or close friend to the hearing aid fitting so you have a familiar voice to listen to and they can be a resource to support you once you get home.
When you put hearing aids in for the first time, you may have different emotions about the sounds you hear. This may include how they look and how they feel. All of these feelings are normal and to be expected. Remember: you are starting a new adventure to better hearing!
Getting Your Edge Back: Listen To Janet
The goal of the hearing aid is to make everyday sounds audible and comfortable. Speech should be clear and pleasant. This fitting process is part science and part art. It will also take some time for your brain to adjust to the new sounds. So be sure to keep trying and to keep sharing your observations with Sharon.
Many individuals fitting hearing aids will stop at a prescription and subjective process to fit your hearing aids. Sharon goes a step further and performs objective tests to make sure the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it. She has a passion to maximize the hearing abilities of her clients.
REAL EAR Verification
Many manufactures offer a prescription based on your audiogram for a “quick fit” and this is where some fittings end. However, Sharon takes many other factors into consideration including the size of your individual ear canal resonance and uses real ear verification equipment to help optimize your fit.
REAL EAR Verification is a method of ensuring performance of the hearing aids to your personal use and goals. REAL EAR requires an investment in equipment, training and time spent with you to get it right but we know it is worth it when our patients hear the difference this tool provides when it comes to customizing your programming which is why we include this in your standard of care. Approximately 70% of other providers fail to verify.
After fitting you with your new hearing aid, Sharon will want to obtain some aided outcome measurements. The “aided” refers to the fact that the measurements are taken with your hearing aids in use.
REAL EAR Verification produces these measurements and is an important step in ensuring that your devices are adjusted properly, especially in terms of amplification. Sharon will place a tiny microphone in your ear canal along with you hearing aid. Then, measurements are taken of the actual sounds within the ear as aided with the hearing aids.
Using this information Sharon can make necessary adjustments for optimal performance of your devices.
Elkhart Hearing Aid Client Improvement Scale
Near the end of your appointment to fit your hearing aids, Sharon will ask you some more questions about where you want to hear better. You rank where you are starting…”I would like to hear well when playing cards, or when out to dinner”…that ranking is evaluated again at 30 days post fitting and any difficult areas are worked on further. Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place.
Attitude is the key to being successful with your new hearing aid. 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 (knowing that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing) you will have a much better listening experience. Sometimes a successful hearing aid fitting takes a little extra practice. That’s where Sharon’s ability to teach you listening strategies or the use of the LACE rehab program becomes a part of your treatment plan.