The hearing aid evaluation can take place after the initial diagnostic hearing evaluation or can be scheduled at a later time. It is recommended the patient bring a family member to their appointment. Hearing loss not only effects the individual but also their close family and friends. It helps to have another supportive person to listen to the information.
Once it has been determined the patient will benefit from amplification, the audiologist will recommend the hearing aids that are most appropriate for the patient’s needs. The audiologist will consider several aspects when choosing the right hearing aid for the patient. The results of the diagnostic evaluation will determine if the patient needs hearing aids for one or both ears and what style of aid will be most appropriate. The patient’s life style and personal expectations are also important when choosing the best level of technology.
The audiologist will explain the patient’s type of hearing loss and how it effects everyday social situations. A listening demonstration of the latest technology may be available for the patient during the hearing aid evaluation. Once a decision is made the audiologist will order the hearing instruments from the manufacturer in the chosen color and style. Some types of hearing loss may require special ear molds for the best sound quality. The audiologist will make an impression of the patient’s ears if the patient requires custom ear molds that connect to behind-the-ear style hearing aids, or custom style hearing aids that fit directly into the ear. The order process can take a few days up to a few weeks. Once the hearing aids arrive, the audiologist will program them based on the patient’s hearing loss. The patient will be called for a fitting appointment and the hearing aids will be fine-tuned to the patient’s specific listening preference. The audiologist will also review how to insert and remove the hearing aids along with how to care for and the clean the devices. Once hearing aids are fit, the patient will have a 30 day trial period. The patient will return to the office two weeks after the initial fitting for a follow up. The audiologist will make any adjustments necessary based on the patient’s feedback. Once the patient is satisfied with the physical fit and sound quality of their hearing aids, they will be scheduled to come in on a routine basis to have the hearing aids cleaned and checked.
Other treatment plan options may include assistive listening devices, proper hearing protection, or a form of ear level tinnitus masking therapy. The audiologist will be able assist the patient with any hearing health needs.