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What To Know About Hearing Aid Programming

Hearing loss is extremely widespread, with approximately 28.8 million U.S. adults showing hearing loss that could benefit from hearing aids. Hearing aids are small but technologically advanced devices that can amplify speech sounds, reduce ambient noise, manage tinnitus symptoms and keep you more aware of your surroundings.

While most hearing aids share similar features and capabilities, their programming varies from person to person. At your first fitting and programming appointment, your hearing specialist will program your devices according to your needs. After the initial visit, future programming will depend on your chosen device type.

Programming options include manual or automatic. Let’s examine the difference between manual and automatic programming and how each option may suit your needs.

Manual Programming

Woman sitting in an audiology exam

Manual programming is set up and maintained by your audiologist or hearing aid specialist. Your specialist will set up the initial programming according to your hearing needs and make periodic adjustments during appointments.

Though having your programming set by a specialist can be time-consuming, you may choose manual programming if you’re looking for more accurate settings and peace of mind.

Automatic Programming

Automatic programming is when the user programs the settings via a remote control or smartphone app. While automatic programming is less accurate than manual programming, it is far less time-consuming.

You may choose automatic programming if you want to save time or cannot go to the audiologist for frequent adjustments.

When Would You Change Your Programming?

Whether you choose automatic or manual programming, knowing when to adjust your settings is vital to the proper functioning of your hearing aid. Some instances where you might adjust your settings may include but are not limited to when:

  1. You are experiencing discomfort. Discomfort from new devices can be expected to a certain degree, but prolonged audiological discomfort may indicate that your hearing aids need reprogramming.

  2. You hear whistling sounds. Though a lot of whistling feedback comes from earwax build-up, it can also come from poor or incorrect programming.

  3. You have new or worsening hearing loss. If your hearing aids aren’t helping you hear as well as they used to, they may need to be adjusted by an audiologist or specialist.

  4. You need to optimize your settings for different environments. Different settings require different programming. For instance, a walk around Washburn Park may require different settings than a concert.

The longer you wear your devices, the more comfortable you will be in changing your programming, but you can always make an appointment with your hearing aid specialist if you have questions or concerns.

Contact Topeka Ear Nose & Throat today to make an appointment with one of our hearing specialists.


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