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Steps to Getting a Hearing Aid
Getting a hearing aid requires multiple steps
The process of getting a hearing aid will start with your audiologist or hearing healthcare professional giving you a hearing test to determine the severity of your hearing loss and if you may benefit. They will likely start off by asking you questions about how hearing loss affects your everyday life, where you have the most trouble with your hearing and if you have any experience with hearing aids. In addition, they may ask questions about medications you are taking and/or your medical history. To determine the type and degree of hearing loss you are experiencing, they will complete a hearing test and the results will be recorded on a special graph called an audiogram. It is important to know that you cannot “fail” a hearing test. These tests are given to provide your hearing healthcare professional with the information they need to recommend a treatment option.
In order to determine if you may benefit from hearing aids, and before becoming a hearing aid user, you can expect to go through the following steps:
After you finish your hearing test, your audiologist or hearing specialist will meet with you to talk about the results and what they mean. If you have a hearing loss, your audiologist or hearing specialist will discuss whether or not hearing aids will help you and what you can expect from them. Also, if you own hearing aids but are in need of new ones, this will be discussed as well. If your hearing healthcare professional recommends hearing aids, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each type of hearing aid and what they can and cannot do to help you hear before making a treatment decision. If you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids (one for each ear) will most likely be recommended. The use of two hearing aids is considered common in the hearing healthcare industry for patients with hearing loss in both ears.
When you are fitted with your hearing aids, your audiologist or hearing specialist will test the hearing aids to make sure they are working well for you. Typically, they will place a tiny microphone in your ear alongside your new hearing aid and measure the actual sound waves your hearing aid produces, to determine if the amount of amplification is correct for your hearing loss.
3. The trial period
In the U.S., many states recommend or require a trial period for hearing aid purchases. Reputable audiologists and hearing specialists will allow at least a 30-day trial period. If hearing aids do not work for you, the cost of the hearing aids should be refunded if returned within the established trial period, but the fitting/programming fee may not be. It is important to get the most out of this trial period by wearing your hearing aids as much as possible, in as many settings as possible, and to make note of hearing situations that don’t seem right. If you are having problems, return to your provider for adjustments.
Within a few weeks, you will have a follow-up appointment. Your provider will check:
- Your progress and understanding of the care and wearing/use of your hearing aids
- What sounds, tones and speech you hear (with the hearing aids) to determine if fine-tuning is needed
5. Long-term use
Keep in mind that getting used to hearing aids takes time, patience and commitment. It is important to remember:
- Hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing or completely filter out background noise
- For best results, wear your hearing aids every day―not just for special occasions
- It may take a while for your ear and brain to re-learn how to hear new sounds, especially if your hearing loss has progressed over a long time
- If sounds do not seem right or you don’t think you are getting the full benefit of the hearing aid, you should contact your provider to discuss your concerns. In some instances, hearing aids may no longer be enough, so ask your hearing healthcare professional if you may benefit from cochlear implants or a direct bone conduction system
If you think you may have a hearing loss or you have a hearing aid but feel that you are not receiving enough benefit, take our Hearing Quiz to find out what type of treatment may be best for you.
The information contained on this
website is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical
advice. Please consult a hearing healthcare professional.