If a hearing professional has diagnosed you with hearing loss, selecting a hearing aid is just the first step in your journey. You’ll also need to schedule an appointment for a hearing aid fitting to make sure your devices work as needed and sit comfortably on your ears. Without a proper fitting, you’re more likely to give up on your devices before you have a chance to adjust to them. If you’re wondering what your hearing aid fitting appointment will entail, keep reading to learn all about how hearing aid fitting appointments work.
The hearing aid fitting process typically follows the below steps:
Experts generally recommend that you contact an audiologist if:
- You’re experiencing challenges hearing in some or all environments. Although hearing loss is often seen as an inability to hear all but loud sounds, the signs of a hearing problem are far more everyday and mundane. For example, if you hear well most of the time but struggle to discern conversation in crowded spaces, you could have hearing loss.
- You hear ringing in your ears. This phenomenon is known as tinnitus, and although it isn’t a cause of hearing loss, you can wear hearing aids to address this condition.
After you bring these concerns to an audiologist, they should conduct a hearing test. These tests determine whether permanent or temporary ear damage or blockages are behind your hearing loss. If permanent, irreversible hearing loss is detected, a more thorough hearing care plan involving a hearing aid fitting appointment will be necessary.
Before a hearing aid specialist adjusts your devices, you’ll need to know which types of hearing aid might be best for you. A hearing aid specialist at your audiologist’s office should counsel you on which type might be best for your needs. The key factors to consider include the type of help your hearing needs and the device’s visibility while wearing them.
The three primary hearing aid types include:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE). BTE hearing aid receivers fit snugly out of sight behind your ears. They run a virtually invisible thin tube attached to a receiver that sits like an earbud into your ear canal, so they’re ideal for hearing aid users with small ear canals.
- In-the-ear (ITE). ITE hearing aids are even more invisible than BTE devices since no part of this device sits outside your ears. The ITE hearing family comprises three types of ITE hearing aids that each have their own distinct properties.
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC). Like BTE hearing aids, RIC devices fit their housing snugly behind your ear. RIC hearing aids, though, have smaller housings and may thus be more comfortable. Additionally, their receivers float above your ear canal instead of lying directly inside it.
After you choose and obtain your devices, your hearing aid specialist will adjust your device’s positioning on your ears. This step may involve your specialist asking you many questions to determine whether your devices are comfortable and properly fitted.
Your hearing aid specialist may ask you a lot of questions during this adjustment, but they are important to answer as thoroughly and as honestly as you can. Answering these questions now can help you avoid pain and discomfort later.
In the device choice stage, you and your hearing care team likely discussed factors such as the environments and situations in which you most frequently find yourself. These questions should emerge again during your hearing aid fitting. That’s because no hearing aid comes perfectly adjusted for these environments out of the box. Instead, your hearing aid specialist will need to adjust your device’s settings to best suit these situations.
You should never leave a hearing aid fitting appointment without having your new fit thoroughly tested. This step is especially important, as even the most theoretically perfect settings can falter somewhat in execution.
Testing your hearing aid should involve a procedure called real ear measures. Through this procedure, your hearing aid specialist can determine the exact extent to which sounds in your ear canal are amplified. With this testing, you can minimize the chances of an improper fit once you leave the office.
You’ll presumably use your hearing aids every day, and with more use comes dirt, dust, and earwax buildup. The thing is, improperly cleaning your hearing aids can undo all the hard work your hearing care team has put into properly fitting your devices. That’s why learning how to clean your hearing aids is a standard part of every hearing aid fitting appointment. Learn more about hearing aid care via the I Love Hearing hearing aids FAQ page.
Hearing aids are advanced devices with many features — they are not a “set and forget” thing. Accidentally activating or deactivating a feature can mess with the overall settings and make your devices harder to use. To combat this challenge, your hearing aid specialists will teach you about all your device’s features so you know what’s being utilized and how to fix it in the event of an accidental change.
Adjusting to hearing aids is rarely a challenge-free process. That’s why your hearing care team will schedule a follow-up appointment for you even if they’re fully confident in your hearing aid’s fit. You can also move up your appointment if you experience pain, itching, or discomfort. And if you choose I Love Hearing for your hearing care, you can travel to any one of our four locations for your fit – and this convenience is paramount if you urgently need changes.
Here at I Love Hearing, our audiologists and hearing aid specialists bring decades of experience to hearing aid users throughout New York and Long Island. Not only do we have four offices in the area, but we always let you try your hearing aids in the real world before you spend any money on them. And during our fitting process, we map your speech live so you can see your devices’ effect on your hearing in real-time. We also make booking your testing, fitting, and follow-up appointments super easy. Just contact us now to get started!