Hearing Aid Services
Hearing Aid Evaluation
There are several steps that are part of a hearing aid evaluation. If you suspect that you might need a hearing aid, you will first need to have a hearing evaluation. At the time of the hearing evaluation, a case history will be taken to determine how much your hearing problem impacts your day-to-day life as well as the lives of your family. You may also have to provide some basic questions about your general health history.
Hearing test results
The results from your hearing test will provide the hearing care professional information on what sounds you may be missing or hearing. The results of this testing will also allow the hearing care professional to make the best treatment recommendations, which typically includes hearing aids.
Hearing aid recommendation
If your hearing test reveals a permanent hearing loss, hearing aids may be recommended. Your hearing professional may explain what sounds you have difficulty hearing, and what hearing aids can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In some cases, you may even be able to listen to a hearing aid. Your hearing professional will help you choose the best hearing aid style, features and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, and financial circumstances. Some hobbies and occupations may benefit from different hearing aid styles or features, so your hearing care provider may have you fill out a questionnaire to assist during the evaluation process. The final decision on which hearing aids are purchased is your choice, but your hearing care professional will make recommendations on the best options for your particular needs.
Once you make a decision, the hearing professional may take impressions of your ears if you selected custom hearing aids or behind-the-ear hearing aids that require earmolds. Hearing aids must usually be ordered from a manufacturer and then programmed by your hearing professional to meet your specific hearing needs. There is an adjustment period when wearing hearing aids, so it’s possible your provider may make additional changes to your settings to ensure you’re getting the best listening experience possible.
Hearing Aid Dispensing and Fitting
Once you have selected your hearing aids after an evaluation, your hearing professional will program them, based on a prescription, to meet your hearing needs. The hearing professional will explain how to use the devices, how to put them in the ear and how to remove them, how to change or charge batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. This appointment will generally take at least one hour, possibly more, so ensure you allot enough time. It is also a good idea to bring a family member or close friend to the hearing aid fitting so they can help remember all the information that is given and be a support to you. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for written instructions, which can help you better retain the information.
Understanding your hearing aids
When you put the hearing aids in for the first time, you may have different emotions about the sounds you hear. This is normal and to be expected. The goal of the hearing aid is to make everyday sounds audible and comfortable, but the sound you hear should be clear and pleasant. Small changes can be made to the hearing aids at your first fitting if there are things that you feel should be adjusted right away. The hearing professional should do additional testing to make sure that the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it. Additionally, remember to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have with your professional.
Fitting your hearing aids
You may be also be given a short survey or list of questions to answer. Be honest about what you hear so that the hearing professional can work with you to create the best listening experience with your new hearing aids. Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place; other changes to customize the hearing to your liking may need to take place over a few appointments.
Adjusting to hearing aids
Attitude is one important key to success with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude do better with hearing aids. If you, as well as your spouse or family, approach your hearing aid fitting with a positive outlook you will have a much better listening experience more quickly. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing, and by working closely with your hearing professional, you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Repair and Maintenance
Hearing aids are comprised of tiny electrical components that may experience wear and tear over time. If this is the case, you’ll likely need to visit your hearing professional to have the problem assessed. Whether it’s simply due to aging or the units have been exposed to moisture, excessive wax, debris or physical damage, you’ll want your hearing specialist to evaluate the extent of repairs needed.
Common hearing aid issues
You may try to turn the hearing aid on in the morning and find that there is no sound or you may find that the battery door has come unhinged. These things do happen, even when the hearing aids are properly cared for. If you should experience an issue that requires a repair, take the hearing aids to your hearing care professional. They are equipped and trained to evaluate and diagnose broken hearing aids. Some minor hearing aid repairs can be done in the office setting in a short period of time; others may need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Your hearing professional can help determine what kind of a repair is necessary if you feel your hearing aid is not working properly. Your hearing specialist will work as a liaison between you and the manufacturer should it require being sent away, to ensure you are up-to-date and know when you’ll be getting your devices back.
Hearing aid repairs
If you are a current patient and have hearing aids that were not fit in our office, we are happy to try to repair your hearing aids. We are able to service most major manufacturers of hearing aids and can advise you as to whether yours is a brand we service. Hearing aids come with a warranty when purchased new. If your warranty has expired, it is still possible to repair most hearing aids for a small fee depending on the extent of the repair and the age of the hearing aid. Depending on the hearing aid manufacturer, this repair may come with a new year-long warranty. In the event your hearing aid is severely damaged and unable to be repaired, our professionals will work with you to determine what devices would be best for your current needs. Your hearing professional will provide you with details when you bring your hearing aid into the office.
Hearing aid maintenance
One easy way to keep your hearing aids in good working order is by properly caring for and maintaining the devices. This means cleaning them daily with a dry cloth, removing batteries at night to allow any moisture to evaporate and examining them periodically for any scratches, cracks or damages. Remember to talk with your hearing care professional if you discover any kind of malfunction or damage to your device.