When visiting your Hearing Specialist for a hearing aid fitting, they’ll generally walk through how best to care for the new device, possibly educate you on your hearing loss type and program them to best fit your prescriptive hearing levels. Although the process might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s also necessary. The alternative is trying to stumble through educating yourself — generally that is best left to the professionals.
Failure to effectively maintain your hearing aid through proper care and cleaning or trying to reconfigure the device yourself can not only void the warranty but may also result in personal injury. It’s better to leave it to the professionals. Even so, after some time has elapsed you may start to run into issues ranging from discomfort to feedback.
The process of readjustments and reprogramming are very much a part of hearing aid maintenance as regular cleaning. Your ears do change over time. It’s important that you learn to recognize the signs that your hearing aid needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Are you hearing an irritating whistling sound? Buzzing or Static?
These could signify one of several issues.
First, it may be wax build up. If that is not the cast then the hearing aid may not be properly fitted to your ear. In addition to irritating feedback, pressure spots can build up and can cause chafing in the ear canal. Not only is this uncomfortable in the short-term, but it may also result in permanent damage if left unaddressed.
It might also signify that the hearing aid is in some way failing and needs to be replaced or repaired. Given that there’s really no way to be certain on your own, your best bet is to visit your hear specialist. They can better diagnose what’s gone wrong, and reconfigure your hearing assistance device as necessary.
Unexplained Hearing Loss
If your hearing aid no longer seems to work as well as it used to, or worse, if you’re experiencing unexplained fluctuations in your hearing impairment, contact your hearing professional immediately. This may go beyond a simple configuration issue. Perhaps whatever condition caused your initial hearing impairment grew more severe over time.
You may have also developed a new condition that worsened your hearing impairment. Certain antibiotics and medications are also ototoxic, meaning they can cause temporary or even permanent hearing damage. A healthcare professional can help you determine the root cause, whether it’s degenerative, the result of medication, or the manifestation of a new condition.
Pain or Discomfort
If your hearing aid has grown uncomfortable to use, there’s a high chance that the earmold or piece has deteriorated over time, and needs to be replaced. As mentioned earlier, an improperly configured earmold may cause a wide range of issues. If your hearing aid is loose or causing pain it’s time to call your hearing care provider.
If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW we would love to help you get your hearing back! Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
When choosing a hearing aid with the help of your specialist, there are two categories you will find that devices fall into. One is (ITE) In The Ear hearing aid and the other is, (BTE) Behind The Ear hearing aid. As the name suggests, the majority of the device rests behind the ear, with the microphone and receiver positioned alone inside it. But what are the benefits?
BTE devices are highly popular. They have a range of advantages to consider:
Comfortable to wear. BTE hearing aids are very comfortable to wear, and you don’t have to worry about direct contact with the ear canal (which some users find uncomfortable or odd to experience).
Easy maintenance. As BTE devices do not come in direct contact with the ear canal, most users find they are far easier to maintain than in-the-ear (ITE) or in-the-canal (ITC) options. If you want a hearing aid that’s going to be easy to live with, then a BTE device might be the best choice for you.
Minimal feedback. The internal components of BTE hearing aids are more distanced from one another, which makes feedback less of a problem for users.
Bluetooth with smart phone compatibility are great features to have that BTE style hearing aids offer. You can use an app on your smart phone to control the hearing aids volume and settings.
BTE can give more Head Room or “Room to Grow” by giving the option to add a more powerful speaker to them in the future if the need arises.
Of course, where there are advantages, there are disadvantages. No hearing aid choice is without some drawbacks so here are a few factors worth considering:
Less discreet. If you’re concerned about onlookers being able to see your hearing aid, then BTE options are less discreet than other options. As they sit directly outside the ear, they are more liable to be noticed by other people. If discretion is important then you would want to consider an IIC Or ITC option.
Wind noise. Users of BTE devices are more liable to experience issues with wind noise when using their hearing aid in open spaces
Masks have become something to pay attention to as well. Having to remove a mask may cause the wearer to lose the hearing aid if they are not careful.
Choosing your hearing aid is not a decision that should be made lightly. You will be relying on it a lot, after all. No device is 100% perfect for every user, there are some that may fit your needs better than others. The pros and cons above might help you decide but choosing with the help of an audiologist who knows your circumstances is always wise.
Why do most insurance providers exclude coverage for hearing aids?
They’re not considered essential medical devices. Instead, they’re deemed “elective” – chosen, rather than urgently necessary.
“Elective” Coverage for Hearing Aids is a problem
Hearing aids are a lifeline. They help people with hearing loss communicate with loved ones, coworkers, they help stay safe in everyday situations, and are a know preventative measure of cognitive issues like Dementia , Alzheimer’s and Depression as they age. They can improve a person’s quality of life, affecting nearly every aspect of their day-to-day routine. More than 50 percent of people over the age of 75 suffer from hearing loss, and for these individuals, hearing aids are far from elective.
If you would consider how dramatically a hearing loss could influence a person’s health and happiness, it’s difficult to understand how insurers could say that they’re nonessential and not worthy of insurance coverage. Not surprisingly, the issue extends beyond whether hearing aids are necessary or elective. It’s also about insurance companies risk vs. reward.
The Risk vs Reward
An Insurance company works by spreading the cost of health services over a large group of people so that members can pay a reasonable amount and still receive coverage. The insurance company profits when individuals pay for coverage but do not file any claims. Unfortunately, that makes individuals with hearing loss a serious risk for insurance companies. Individuals with hearing loss are very likely to file insurance claims to help pay for hearing aids, which can cost thousands of dollars. Hearing aids also require replacement every five years, which is an additional expense for the insurance provider.
As it stands, insurance companies are less likely to make a profit on high-risk individuals like those with hearing loss. This is a major reason why they’re less likely to offer coverage for hearing aids. Even if insurance companies do eventually provide coverage for hearing devices, they will have a major impact on the pricing of hearing devices and services, setting lower allowed contractual amounts for what can be billed.
If you have questions or would like us to find out if your insurance has a benefit for hearing please call us at 843-839-2389\ to schedule an appointment.
One comment we hear time and time again is, “I can hear people talking, but I can’t understand what they’re saying”.
Three reasons why this might be happening.
High frequency hearing loss
High frequency loss makes it difficult to understand the articulated high pitch consonant sounds that help you understand whether someone said, face and space. Those subtle sounds are important in order to correctly understand what someone is saying.
Our brains are very smart. The brain will use lip reading cuesto determine the right letter but sometimes doesn’t always get it right.
Correcting with hearing aids is the best way to attain clarity to hear those sounds you are missing.
A second reason you may have trouble hearing what people say is because of a noisy environment. Even people without a hearing loss can struggle to hear someone when it is noisy.
This is known as the Cocktail Party Effect where competing sounds make it difficult for you to follow a single conversation.
Directional microphones in hearing aids combined with the computer processing that prioritizes delivering speech to your ears. These are a must have feature in modern hearing aids.
The brains ability to process sound
The third reason may not be your ears, your ears may be working just fine. The issue might be auditory deprivation. To understand words it is necessary to hear all the speech sounds, transmit them to the brain, and decode the meaning. If anything disrupts this sequence it is likely that you will hear but not understand.
This means the sound is going into your ears just fine but your brain is having trouble interpreting what you hear into things you can understand.
Over time people with a hearing loss can become less engaged in social environments. They may also switch off from life which results in depression, social isolation and increases risk of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW and take the first steps you need to find out if you are a candidate for hearing aids. Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
If you’re shopping for hearing aids, you likely have a number of questions about your investment, such as:
How much will my hearing aids really cost?
How can I be sure I’m getting the best price on my hearing aids?
Will insurance or Medicare cover hearing aids?
What payment options are available?
Price is a major consideration when it comes to hearing aids, as it should be.A hearing aid might be the most advanced piece of technology someone will ever own. Hearing aids are advanced computers that are meant to work as one with our bodies. Hundreds of millions of dollars go into their research and development every year. How we perceive sound is so delicate that a highly advanced piece of technology is required to do the job right.
Why is sound so complicated? Sound can be perceived differently from one person to another. Just because you can hear well at some frequencies doesn’t mean that you can hear well at all frequencies. Most people with hearing loss don’t have a problem hearing sound itself. Their difficulty lies in hearing it clearly among all the sounds of life that exists in the world. It’s not easy to listen to a child’s voice in a crowded room. A listener not only has to hear the child, they must be able understand them too. We can close our eyes and know a car is driving by us or a plane is flying over-head. We’re able to distinguish the difference between the ocean waves from a hand clap. It’s possible to tell if something is in front of us or behind us, if it’s close or far away. The examples are endless.
What is this sense of sound and overall awareness worth to us? Putting hearing aid cost into perspective. The average pair of hearing aids will last about 5 years. When you look only at the one time up front cost it may seem somewhat expensive at first glance. But when you break it down to the monthly cost over a 5 year period the value becomes obvious. Depending on what hearing aids you select, the monthly cost could be just over $100 for the higher end products or just under $50 for the more value oriented ones. Let’s keep it easy and split that right down the middle and say the 5 year cost of hearing aids is around $75 per month. What does that compare to? Hearing aids now become similar to a cable bill. You could be in a set of high quality hearing aids for the same cost as your daily coffee. If you decide on value oriented hearing aids, the monthly cost could be less than a tank of gas.
If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW and take the first steps you need to find out if you are a candidate for hearing aids. Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Ototoxicity refers to drug or chemical-related damage to the inner ear, resulting in damage to the organs responsible for hearing and balance. Ototoxicity occurs as a side-effect of certain drugs and substances, which damages inner ear hair cells and has been known to cause sensorineural hearing loss. Ototoxic substances include several therapeutic medicines (e.g. aminoglycoside antibiotics, some anti-cancer agents, loop diuretics, anti-malarial drugs and aspirin), and other environmental substances (e.g. mercury, lead and arsenic). Depending on the strength of the drug and its side-effects, hearing loss or other disorders may be temporary or permanent.
Beyond prescription or over the counter medications, many people slowly damage their hearing with common substances such as caffeine and alcohol. While the impact of these substances is more gradual over the course of many years, the resulting hearing loss is typically permanent. Changes to a person’s lifestyle earlier in life can dramatically reduce one’s risk for developing sensorineural hearing loss.
Understanding Ototoxicity and Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is one of three types of hearing loss and relates specifically to the structures of the inner ear.
After sound waves have made their way from the outer ear through the middle ear, and the waves have become vibrations created by the eardrum, the vibrations move through the inner ear structure, where they are picked up by inner ear hair cells. These cells are responsible for translating sound wave vibrations into neural signals that are processed and recognized by the auditory cortex of the brain as sound.
Ototoxicity causes the death of these inner ear hair cells, which do not regenerate. This leads to sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss should be treated as soon as possible; if left untreated for an extended period of time, the neural pathways that process sound in the brain will fall into disrepair and will make treating hearing loss more difficult in the long term.
Medications that may cause hearing loss
Aminoglycoside antibiotics are a strong and effective treatment for inflammatory bacterial infections such as meningitis, bacteremia, and respiratory diseases in patients with cystic fibrosis.
At the Oregon Hearing Research Center, Dr. Peter Steyger and his colleagues tested the effects of aminoglycoside antibiotics on mice, one group healthy and the other infected with inflammatory bacteria.
They found that both groups experienced levels of hearing loss, with the infected mice experiencing a higher degree.
Aminoglycoside antibiotics are frequently used in developing countries with warm climates due to their ease of storage (they do not require refrigeration). They are also used in the US, where they are administered to infants in intensive care units.
Though aminoglycoside antibiotics are life-saving in cases of lethal infection, they may cause permanent hearing loss.
For patients battling cancer, chemotherapy drugs may also lead to permanent hearing loss. Two particular drugs, cisplatin and carboplatin, have been found to affect the inner ear.
Cisplatin is used to treat solid tumors such as ovarian, testicular, cervical, lung, head, neck, and bladder cancers. Studies conducted on the ototoxicity of cisplatin reveal that “hearing loss following cisplatin chemotherapy appears to be variable…related to dose, age of the patient, and other factors, such as noise exposure.”
Both cisplatin and carboplatin are crucial in cancer treatments, but medical professionals tend to monitor hearing throughout a patient’s treatment.
Salicylate pain relievers
Salicylate pain relievers are composed of acetylsalicylic acid, most commonly known as aspirin.
Aspirin is used to treat inflammation and pain, and is also prescribed to patients with a history of stroke, unstable angina, or myocardial infarction. Salicylic acid enters the cochlea of the ear shortly after absorption, which may lead to tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss.
Hearing loss due to salicylate pain relievers occurs more commonly in elderly patients.
Loop diuretics are used to treat congestive heart failure, renal failure, cirrhosis, and hypertension.
Ototoxicity from usage of loop diuretics occurs in 6-7% of patients. Patients have also complained of tinnitus (a ringing of the ears) as well as dysequilibrium.
To prevent hearing loss from loop diuretics, it is recommended that medical professionals use the lowest possible doses to achieve desired effects.
Other Substances that can cause hearing loss
Americans consume the highest amount of caffeine at 971 tons per year. While coffee, tea and sodas are commonplace for most American households, we may be causing harm to our hearing without realizing it.
Studies are suggesting that caffeine may play an indirect role in sensorineural hearing loss. Instead of causing a loss, caffeine delays and reduces your natural ability to recover after extended exposure to loud noises like concerts or power tools. The ear will work hard to repair the damage from an occasional rock concert, but when consuming caffeine that repair process is delayed according to Montreal based researchers.
Alcohol has long been villainized for causing a host of health problems including liver damage, high blood pressure and heart disease. If alcohol makes a frequent appearance in your routine, you’ll need to add hearing loss to the list of potential health consequences.
Alcohol damages the central auditory cortex, the part of your brain responsible for deciphering sounds brought to it by your ear. So while your ears may be in perfect working order, your brain may have trouble understanding what it’s hearing. Alcohol intake seems to most often affect a person’s ability to process lower frequency sounds.
In a study out of London, participants usually regained their normal hearing abilities once they stopped drinking. However researchers hypothesize that repeated alcohol induced hearing loss can permanently damage hearing abilities over time.
In a recent study out of Japan, researchers spent 8 years tracking the hearing abilities of over 50,000 participants. Researchers concluded that smoking is in fact associated with an increased risk for hearing loss, with the number of cigarettes impacting the level of risk.
Amazingly the risk of hearing loss declined for those who quit smoking even as few as 5 years before the start of the study. The findings are encouraging for those wishing to improve their health by ending a nicotine habit.
If you have questions or concerns, you should have your hearing evaluated further by a certified hearing professional. This evaluation is simple and painless but could mark the beginning of a better life. Best part, it’s free!
Click hereto schedule your free hearing assessment.
Almost 35 million people in the U.S. know they have a hearing problem, but half of them have never had their hearing evaluated by a professional. The problem is that hearing loss is more than a personal nuisance; there are serious consequences to ignoring hearing loss, including negative medical, emotional, and social changes.
Medical and Emotional Consequences
A growing body of scientific research indicates that hearing loss can lead to or enhance the effects of serious medical and emotional conditions.
Auditory Deprivation: People with hearing loss transmit incomplete signals to the brain, effectively “starving” the brain and leading to auditory deprivation. Prolonged auditory deprivation may cause your brain to forget how to interpret hearing impulses, leading to decreasing communication and other problems.
Dementia and Alzheimer disease: People with hearing problems are more likely to develop reasoning disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent study from the National Institute of Aging.
Depression: Research shows that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and withdrawn. Research also indicates that treatment with hearing aids can significantly improve a person’s quality of life and well-being.
“Gait and balance are things most people take for granted, but they are actually very cognitively demanding,” “If hearing loss imposes a cognitive load, there may be fewer cognitive resources to help with maintaining balance and gait.”
Untreated hearing loss leads to serious negative lifestyle changes, which often effect family, friends, and others. These changes include personal safety like balance; irritability; pessimism; anger; fatigue; tension; stress; isolation; withdrawal; and diminished overall health.
The Bottom Line
Untreated hearing loss can damage your physical, emotional, and social health and well-being. This will also distress your life companion, family, and friends.
The effects of hearing loss can be diminished with current technology (digital hearing aids, cochlear implants) and post-fitting rehabilitation.
A hearing exam by a well-qualified Audiologist may reveal serious underlying medical conditions before you actually have any symptoms. Early detection is often critical for optimal recovery from these medical problems.
Should You Get a Hearing Exam?
The following questions from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders will help you determine if you need to have your hearing evaluated by a certified hearing professional:
*Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
*Do you have trouble following conversations when two or more people talk at the same time?
*Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
*Do you strain to understand conversations? Do you have trouble hearing in noisy backgrounds?
*Do you have trouble understanding conversations with women and children?
*Do people seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
*Do you misunderstand and respond incorrectly to what others are saying?
*Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?
If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, you should have your hearing evaluated further by a certified hearing professional. This evaluation is simple and painless but could mark the beginning of a better life. Best part, it’s free!
Click here to schedule your free hearing assessment.
Hearing loss often happens slowly over long periods of time, so it can be difficult to track in the moment. It is possible to look back for signs, however: when you began turning up the volume on the television and radio, when you began asking friends and family to repeat themselves, et cetera. Most people wait an average of 7 years before getting a hearing aid and forget what it is like to have normal hearing.
Adjusting to new hearing aids is less like wearing glasses to correct your vision and more like learning how to hear again. A hearing aid will help you hear differently and your hearing health care professional will help along the way.
After having your hearing tested by an audiologist, or other hearing health specialist, they will thoroughly diagnose your results and discuss them with you. They will explain each ear’s hearing ability and recommended next steps, and being fitted for a hearing aid is a common recommendation.
When you have a fitting appointment with your hearing health care professional, they will fit you with a hearing aid based on your specific needs. Before selecting a hearing aid that might best suit you, your doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle and you should answer with as much detail as possible.
Do you live in a quiet environment or in a home with a big family? Some people have trouble hearing high pitched sounds of women and children, so this information would be essential to ensuring your hearing aid is tuned to recognize those tones and pitches. If you are employed, do you work in a cubicle or in a busy restaurant? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 25 percent of hearing loss in America is job related, so this information is helpful for your doctor.
When booking your appointment, it is a good idea to clear your day so that you are not feeling rushed to leave the office. There is a lot of information to go over and you want to ensure that you have time to ask any questions you may have.
Your hearing aid will be physically fitted to sit comfortably around or in your ear and your doctor will also test that the device’s settings are programmed correctly. You will receive instructions on how to operate and care for your new hearing aid. The information may be a bit overwhelming, but your doctor is there to address any questions you have and take the time to help you understand, during and beyond the appointment.
Some Best Practices
Be patient as you are getting used to your new hearing aid. You will be experiencing the physical feel of wearing one or two devices on your ears and also beginning to hear differently. It may take some time to get to a place where you are hearing comfortably, but it is important to be consistent in wearing your hearing aids.
It is important to keep wearing your hearing aids, even when they might be irritating or functionally frustrating. Remember, you are also re-training your brain to listen again and consistency is key. You will also be in regular communication with your audiologist during the fitting process and you have to inform them about how the device is working. This will allow them to fit the hearing aids more accurately, in turn making them work better for you.
You should also be keenly aware of your hearing in different environments and circumstances as you retrain your ears and brain to hear. When some sounds appear closer than they are or if you have trouble hearing certain frequencies, these are all things can your audiologist or hearing specialist can likely tune during a follow-up fitting appointment.
As you become comfortable with your new hearing aids, know that you are not alone in your journey. Your hearing health care professional is available to answer any questions you may have. They can also give you information about aural rehabilitation, a support system in place to help you in your transition to better hearing. The rehabilitation can be done on a home computer in person in a group setting. It can be a great way to meet and talk to other people living with hearing loss and share experiences.
It can be hard to accept that your hearing abilities have changed, and it can be even more difficult still to figure out next steps. It is a lifestyle shift that you have to make, but you do not have to do so alone. There are a wide range of options for hearing aids and hearing assisted devices as well as hearing health care professionals to help you sort through it all.
The Internet is a great resource, too. Try not to be overwhelmed, there is a lot of information out there. This article aims to help you navigate to some landmarks in your journey to better hearing health!
Bring a Friend or Loved One
Ask a friend or family member to join you, if you have not done so already, as you take steps to better your hearing health. Their support can be comforting as you take steps into this new chapter of your life and they can help ask questions during a visit to an audiologist or hearing specialist’s office. Retired audiologist Juliette Sterkens from Wisconsin wisely offers, “Two people hear and remember more.”
A companion can offer support beyond simply visiting the hearing health professional’s office. You can plan to take a hearing test together online and in the comfort of your home if you are feeling anxious. Having a friend or relative with you is also a reminder that hearing loss extends beyond yourself. The positive effects benefit you and also your loved ones.
Take a Hearing Test
If you want to get an idea of where your hearing is before you visit your hearing health care professional, you can find simple hearing tests online. They play a series of tones and different pitches to measure your hearing and can determine if you need to visit a professional. An audiologist can administer an examination and provide thorough details about your results. They will also discuss treatment afterward to best suits your needs. Hearing aids are often a recommendation.
Your hearing health professional will ask you about your lifestyle and hobbies during the exam and use this information to get you the hearing aid that is right for you. Do you live with a large family or live alone in a quieter setting? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? Do you primarily want to be able to hear the television or radio better? All of these details help to ensure you get a proper hearing aid fitting.
Ask to Try Out Your Hearing Aids
It is possible that several hearing aids fit your needs and a sure-fire way to know which is best for you is to ask your hearing health professional for a demonstration or a “test drive.” It could be possible for them to fit a disposable attachment to the hearing aid and program it to your hearing loss to give you an accurate idea of how it works.
You can also ask to have an automated “real ear” test to see how the aid works in your ear. You should not leave the office without checking that your hearing aid fits. It should fit physically, of course, but it should also fit your lifestyle according to the guidelines you discussed with your hearing health professional.
Take your time to make an informed decision. Hearing aids are a significant investment and can be a costly one. It’s not a decision you want to make hastily. In the market today, a single aid can range from $1,600 up to $3,000 and are often not covered by Medicare or private insurance. A survey from Consumer Reports in 2014 states that there is an average retail markup of about 117 percent, so there can be room for bargaining.
Advances in technology provides us with an abundance of choice, and there are as many add-ons from which to choose, too. Think about your specific hearing loss and the needs you want your hearing aid to meet. Many hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth technology, allowing you to connect your hearing aid to a smartphone or smart tv. Some filter out noise in a crowded room, or help with phone conversations with a tele-coil. However, if you don’t need those advanced features you could save yourself a lot of money.
Let Your Brain Help You Hear
Many people may not think of the brain’s involvement in the hearing process, but it plays a large part in processing sound and also speech production and recognition. “You don’t hear with your ear, you hear with your brain, and your brain doesn’t know what to do with the sound after you get your hearing aids,” says audiologist Barry Freeman of Zpower, based in Camarillo, CA. Check with your provider about aural rehabilitation and how it can help. There are auditory trainings that can be done in group sessions or at home on a personal computer.
Absolute Hearing Care Centers
If you’re looking for comprehensive hearing health care, look no further than Absolute Hearing Care Centers. We provide a full slate of hearing health services and we look forward to helping you hear at your best. Contact us today to learn more!
It is common for some degree of hearing loss to occur as you age. In fact, presbycusis is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Therefore, you must tend to your hearing health just as you tend to your overall health in your senior years.
Millions of Americans are living with some degree of hearing loss, approximately 48 million according to an estimate from the Hearing Loss Association of America. It is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S., more prevalent than diabetes or cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Taking care of your hearing health is a process that you do not have to go through alone. Loved ones and your hearing health care professional can help you along the way when you are in need. Reaching out for support as you re-learn the functions of hearing, and the accompanying equipment, is a great way to set yourself up for success.
After taking a hearing test, your hearing health professional will discuss your results with you and schedule a hearing aid fitting. Many people may not realize that these are separate appointments that need their own time because lots of information is covered in each. The hearing aid fitting appointment may happen over multiple visits to ensure that the hearing aid is comfortable and suited to your needs.
The Fitting Appointment
During your fitting appointment with your hearing health professional, they will fit you with a hearing aid based on your specific needs. Your hearing health professional will ask you questions about your lifestyle before selecting a hearing aid that might best suit you and you should answer with as much detail as possible.
Some questions may include: Do you live a relatively quiet lifestyle or in a home with a big family? Some people have trouble hearing high pitched sounds of women and children, so this information would be essential to ensuring your hearing aid hears those tones and pitches. If you are employed, do you work in a cubicle or on a construction site? The CDC estimates that about 25 percent of hearing loss in America is job related, so your hearing health professional needs this information.
Your hearing health professional will ensure that the physical fit of the hearing aid is comfortable around or in your ear and that the device is programmed correctly. They will provide information on how to use and care for your new hearing aid, too. This is an opportunity where having a friend or family member with you could benefit you; they could be a second pair of ears to receive information and sort through it later with you.
Take the following steps to ensure a successful hearing aid fitting:
Clear your calendar
Your appointment is much more than picking up your new hearing aids. It is a course in operation and care that takes time. It is best not to rush out of your hearing health professional’s office and miss out on any vital information so it is best to clear your schedule for the day of your fitting.
Bring a friend
Ask a friend, relative, or someone in your support system to join you at your fitting appointment. The journey to better hearing health has been a long one and it will be nice to hear a familiar voice as you begin to hear more normally again. Your companion can also help to remember some of the instruction and information your hearing health professional gives you.
Taking notes should certainly happen during the appointment, but this step can also begin beforehand. When questions come up about the hearing aid, the impact on your lifestyle, or care and maintenance, write them down so you can have the hearing health professional address them. You should also take notes during conversation and encourage your companion to do the same. Afterward, the two of you can share and compare notes for anything that may have been missed.
Absolute Hearing Care Centers
It can be difficult admitting that you need help treating disabling hearing loss. The stigma associated with hearing loss and hearing aids—ageism, self-perception, vanity, to name a few—can be a huge barrier to seeking treatment. Once you are able to meet or overcome those barriers, however, you will notice an abundance of help and resources available to you.
Your path to better hearing health is a continuous journey that you need not navigate alone. Take advantage of the wealth of information your hearing health care professional can provide and stay informed. The groundwork may be laid during the fitting, but just as your lifestyle may change over time, the function and fit of you hearing aid can also change to serve your hearing health needs.