There are many styles, shapes, sizes, brands and colors of hearing aids, and finding the perfect fit may seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, you can’t try on hearing aids like you can jeans at West Ridge Mall. However, your audiologist will work with you during every step of the fitting process to ensure you end up with a device that is perfect for you and programmed to the exact specifications of your hearing loss.
There are several steps involved in choosing a device with the right physical fit that will benefit your unique hearing loss.
Identifying Your Type & Degree of Hearing Loss
Your audiologist will perform a series of tests to identify your exact type and degree of hearing loss, which is then charted on an audiogram. Certain styles of hearing aids are better suited to some types and degrees of hearing loss than others. For example, completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are appropriate for mild to moderate hearing loss but are not powerful enough for those with severe loss.
Considering Your Lifestyle Needs
You should tell your audiologist about your work and hobbies; this can help them select a level of technology you need to perform your favorite activities.
Measuring Your Ears
If you are going to wear a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, the audiologist will use a small tool to measure how long the wire or tubing needs to be to reach from your ear canal to the hearing aid.
Getting an Earmold
For BTE hearing aids, you’ll need to choose whether you want an instant dome made of soft silicone or a custom earmold, which requires an impression of your ear. For in-the-ear (ITE) styles, an impression will also need to be made so that the hearing aid will fit comfortably.
Once you have chosen your hearing aid and gotten all the necessary measurements and molds, the sound settings will need to be programmed.
Programming Your Hearing Aids
Your audiologist will refer to the audiogram and use a special fitting software to program your devices. The fitting software also measures the acoustics of the ear to determine how the hearing aids will react in order to achieve a more precise fit.
You’ll then undergo a second hearing test, but this time with your hearing aids on. This will help ensure you can hear all the sounds you need to hear with ease.
After taking your hearing aids home, you will likely find certain listening situations where sounds are still too soft or uncomfortably loud. Be sure to return to your audiologist’s office to get the programming tweaked so you can fully enjoy your new devices.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Topeka ENT today.