You’ve decided to make the plunge and purchase hearing aids. You’ve worked with your audiologist to pick out the right brand, model, technology level, and color. Now, the office called to let you know that your hearing aids have arrived! They want to schedule an appointment for a hearing aid fitting and orientation. What should you expect out of this appointment?
Hearing aid fitting
Before you arrive, the audiologist will program your hearing aids to match the hearing loss shown on your audiogram. When you arrive for your fitting, the hearing aids will be ready to be fine tuned to match your needs.
The audiologist will conduct a test called Real Ear Measures. This allows the audiologist to test how loud the sounds are inside your ears. To perform this test, the audiologist will place a tube inside your ear canal. This tube is connected to a microphone. Your hearing aids will be inserted over top of the tube. The audiologist will then play a variety of sounds, and measure the loudness inside your ear canal.
Based on the results, the audiologist can then make precise adjustments to your hearing aids to match target amplification levels. The goal is to set your hearing aids to provide you with the “right” level of amplification. Not too much, where everything is too loud. And not too little, where you have difficulties understanding speech even with your hearing aids turned on.
During the fitting, the audiologist will ask you for feedback. Your preferences will be taken into account when making adjustments to your hearing aids. It’s OK to tell your audiologist if they feel too loud or too soft. The goal at the end of the hearing aid fitting is to having your hearing aids customized to YOU.
Hearing aid orientation
The second portion of this appointment is the hearing aid orientation. The audiologist will explain how to clean and maintain your hearing aids. They should show you how to change the filters and batteries, or how to use the charger.
The audiologist will also show you how to use many of the features of your new hearing aids. They should help you get them connected to your smartphone (if applicable). They may demonstrate how to stream phone calls and music into your new devices.
The audiologist should also show you how to adjust the volume and change between different settings based on your listening environment. If you have any questions about your hearing aids, now is the perfect time to ask!
Whenever you purchase new hearing aids, your audiologist should present you with a purchase agreement. This document will contain details about your hearing aids, such as the make, model, serial numbers, and warranty information. It will also include details regarding a trial period and options for returning the devices. Your audiologist will explain these details to you, and then the patient and audiologist will both sign and receive a copy of the agreement.
Lastly, you will need to pay for your hearing aids before you can take them home. Most audiology clinics will require payment in full at the time of the hearing aid fitting. If you are lucky enough to have health insurance that has a hearing aid benefit, payment policies will vary. Some clinics will still request payment in full at the time of the fitting, and then the patient will receive reimbursement after the insurance company processes the claim. Other clinics will have the patient pay only the expected copay upfront.
Take them home!!
Now that your hearing aid fitting is complete, you get to take your new devices home! During the trial period, make sure to wear your hearing aids in a variety of different environments. This is the time to make sure you are fully satisfied with your new hearing aid purchase. If you are experiencing any problems, contact your hearing provider. They will be happy to answer any questions that come up, or to provide an additional adjustment to your new hearing aids.