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How to Get Fitted for Hearing Aids in Long Island

Life in Nassau County moves at a rapid pace. The sidewalks are full of loud, fast walkers, and traffic is constantly rushing by. All this background noise can make it difficult to hear someone who’s standing right next to you. If you find yourself straining to hear someone with all these noises surrounding you, there’s a possibility that you may be experiencing hearing loss. Hearing aids may help improve your ability to hear the city that never sleeps and the suburbs we call home.

How to get your hearing aids in Nassau County

Choosing hearing aids to help address your hearing loss in Long Island involves the below steps:

1. Find an audiologist.

If you need hearing aids, you’ll need to see an audiologist or hearing aid specialist (or visit a practice that has both). Some insurance plans require you to obtain a referral from your primary care doctor before seeing these specialists, so you may want to speak with your primary care physician or your insurance company first if you need your insurance to pay the hearing aids.

2. Schedule a hearing test with an audiologist.

Audiologists have extensive medical knowledge of hearing problems and the ear. They can establish a baseline for your hearing as it stands at the first visit, properly assess if you are experiencing hearing loss and the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing, and offer solutions and treatment plans that can help you hear better. Your audiologist will make these distinctions through tests that distinguish damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve from blockages or damage to the middle or outer ear.

Inner ear or auditory nerve damage can lead to a diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss, which is often permanent. Middle or outer ear damage is likely due to conductive hearing loss, which may be reversible. A third type of hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, has both conductive and sensorineural characteristics. If your hearing test indicates permanent hearing loss of any type, your audiologist will schedule you for a hearing aid fitting.

3. Choose the right type of hearing aid.

Once an audiologist diagnoses you with hearing loss, you should obtain hearing aids as soon as possible. However, this task may feel overwhelming given the sheer number of hearing aids available. Your hearing aid specialist will take you through the main styles of hearing aids and help you make the best choice for your lifestyle.

The three main styles of hearing aids you should know include:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE). If your ear canal is on the small side, BTE hearing aids are a great option. Their receivers hide behind your ears, and a near-invisible tube connects the receivers to the earpiece that sits inside your ear canal.
  • In-the-ear (ITE). These devices fit entirely in the outer ear, making them as close to invisible as possible. They’re thus great for people concerned about the unfortunate stigma that still accompanies the use of listening devices. To learn more about how much invisibility you’ll get with your devices, read more about the three types of ITE hearing aids.
  • Receiver-in-canal (RIC). RIC hearing aids resemble BTE devices, but RIC hearing instruments have smaller housings than BTE hearing aids. Their receivers sit just outside your ear instead of directly inside it.

The right type of hearing aid for you depends on not just your aesthetic desires and personal comfort level, but the type of hearing loss you have and the severity of your hearing loss. The frequency of your exposure to background noise – which New Yorkers know all too well – is also an important factor.

In addition to the above options, bone-anchored hearing aids may be ideal for people with hearing loss in just one ear. However, many audiologists will still recommend a pair of hearing aids, as hearing aids work better when treating both ears. Consult an audiologist or hearing aid specialist to find the right device type for your needs.

4. Have your hearing aid specialist properly position your hearing aid.

You may experience itching, sweating, or discomfort when you first wear your hearing aids. In fact, you may need up to two months to fully adjust to your hearing aids. Ensuring that your hearing aid specialist properly positions your hearing aid on your ear can help you avoid problems in the first place. Make sure your hearing aid specialist helps you properly adjust your hearing aids for their best fit. If you’re still experiencing issues after about two months, you may want to consider a different hearing aid model.

5. Adjust and test your hearing aids.

Walking through a busy Times Square with well-fitting hearing aids can help you better hear the people around you. It’s not quite as nice when the chatter of the crowds around you is too loud in your hearing aid. That’s why your hearing aid specialist will adjust your hearing aid’s settings and retest your device so you can get a handle on how it works in different settings.

This step is especially important since audiologists and hearing aid specialists consider your most common environments when they adjust your hearing aids. For example, if you love sunny summer afternoons at Central Park, your hearing care team will adjust your hearing aids to elevate your friends’ voices over all the background clamor.

6. Schedule follow-up appointments.

Hearing aids are powerful, but they aren’t perfect. Since they can’t fully restore your lost hearing, you may find that, in the real world, you’re not hearing as well as during your fitting. That’s only natural – even the most talented hearing care providers can’t perfectly capture cars zooming by on crowded Midtown streets or subways screeching below them. But a hearing aid specialist can address your challenges in a follow-up appointment. (With some hearing aid models, you can skip the office visit entirely: Select brands support remote adjustments!)

During this appointment, be upfront about what you’re experiencing so that your hearing center team can make the appropriate adjustments. This is also the right time to have your devices adjusted for comfort if need be. And scheduling and attending your follow-up appointment should be hassle-free too – especially if you choose a hearing aid fitting facility as accessible as I Love Hearing.

Why I Love Hearing is the right choice for Long Island

I Love Hearing operates several offices throughout the Nassau County. Long Island patients residents can choose from three locations: New Hyde Park, Port Washington, and East Meadow. Each location is conveniently located near highways and major thoroughfares, with plenty of on-site parking for drivers. If you’re in Long Island and need hearing aid fitting services from some of the best professionals in the area, contact us now to book your appointment.

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How To Fit a Hearing Aid

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.

How hearing aid fitting appointments work

The hearing aid fitting process typically follows the below steps:

1. Reach out to an audiologist.

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.

2. Choosing the appropriate hearing aid.

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.

3. Physically fitting your hearing aid.

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.

4. Adjusting your hearing aid’s settings.

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.

5. Testing your newly fitted hearing aids.

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.

6. Learning how to clean your hearing aids.

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.

7. Learning all your hearing aid’s features.

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.

8. Scheduling a follow-up appointment.

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.

Choose I Love Hearing for an ideal hearing aid fit

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!