Hearing Aid Fitting & Programming
Every hearing aid is a miniature computer designed to offer as many features as possible to the client. However, every person’s hearing is unique, including the amount and cause of hearing loss, the sound environments each person encounters, and the person’s ability to use and care for the device are all important, individual factors to consider.
Every ear is different. Your ear is as unique as your fingerprint for identification purposes. This means that the audiologists at Lowe Audiology will fit each hearing aid to your ear only. Many hearing aids are made from molds taken of your ear canal. A soft foam injected in the ear forms a contoured shape of the ear. It is used to make the small plastic body of the hearing aid.
This process is just the beginning of the fitting process. Fitting, in this case, includes testing and retesting the device to give you the best combination of volume and clarity. Computers are used to test the volume inside your ear with a probe that precisely measures the volume and tests it against your degree of hearing loss to be sure the correct levels are achieved.
Practice makes perfect
Your audiologist will show you how to use the hearing aid, which will include information like how to properly insert and remove it, how to power the device, how to store it and how to clean it. You can practice these skills while you are at the fitting appointment. Some devices are turned off by sliding out the battery tray while others have a switch. Some aids have a volume switch, and some are controlled by computer.
If your device uses disposable batteries, you can practice removing and inserting these, too.
Home and away
Home hearing environments are far different from those you encounter when traveling, at work or in crowded restaurants. The programming part of hearing aid testing uses a variety of noise settings to simulate these changes. Hearing aids are controlled by a computer app that audiologists are uniquely qualified to operate. Software, hardware and programming issues are best left to the audiologist to handle.
The programming is never a one-and-done proposition. You are encouraged to call or come to Lowe Audiology periodically for checks and adjustments to your hearing devices.