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Why is a Hearing Aid Fitting Important?
After talking with your audiologist and reviewing your hearing tests, you decided to get hearing aids. The choices may seem enormous! But there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to hearing aids. Why is a Hearing Aid Fitting Important? Essentially, to help you find the right product to not only make the best improvements to your hearing, but to provide the most comfortable fit.
Why see an audiologist?
An audiologist is trained and educated to provide the best solution to your hearing problems. Because an audiologist has an advanced degree, they will do a medical check of your ears as well as perform essential tests to determine the cause of your hearing loss and how best to improve it.
Direct-to-consumer hearing aids, or those not fitted by an audiologist, can result in poor amplification of sound or poor programming. A non-custom fit often can irritate the ear canal and the outer ear. Because the hearing aids do not fit properly and therefore do not provide adequate improvement in hearing, people in these situations usually stop wearing their hearing aids, upset with the lack of performance and the expense.
How is the fit improved?
An audiologist takes ear mold impressions for a custom fit. Additionally, audiologists are able to perform specific tests to ensure proper hearing aid fit. These tests are called real-ear measurement. This involves a small probe with a microphone that is placed in the ear canal. That probe measures how loud and soft sounds impact your eardrum. When the hearing aid is placed in the ear canal along with the probe, the audiologist can balance amplification for your best comfort. Because no two ear canals are alike, relying on pre-programmed settings can result in poor fit. The real-ear measurement ensures that the acoustics of your ear canal are taken into account.
What other benefits are provided?
Most importantly, your audiologist provides counseling to assist you with the transition to wearing hearing aids. You can discuss all your concerns with confidence, the same way you speak with your health care provider. An audiologist also offers individual set up and programming of the hearing aid software specifically tailored to your needs. Your audiologist will instruct you on care and use of your hearing aids and will schedule follow-up visits to check the fit and volume. Semi-annual or annual visits ensure your hearing aids continue to work properly and provide the best amplification.
Hearing aids are a major expense, and just like any other health-related product, you want to make the best choice at the right price. Your audiologist is there to help you through the process. Well-fitting hearing aids make a world of difference when it comes to improving hearing.