Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013

Fitting A Hearing Aid

Female in profile has learned to get the right fit on her hearing aid.

Getting the right fit for your hearing aid is essential for optimal hearing and comfort. Hearing aids are complicated and technical instruments and should be fitted and adjusted to each individual. Though there are similar types of hearing loss, each person hears in specific ways. Hearing aids typically require several professional adjustments before they are aligned for an individual’s precise needs. So what's the best way to make sure your hearing aids have the right fit?

Go To an Audiologist's Office
An audiologist not only has specialized training, but has sophisticated equipment to make precise adjustments needed for comfort and optimal hearing. An audiologist is a hearing health professional with eight years or more of education in hearing and rehabilitation of hearing. A Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) or what most people call an Audiologist is educated and trained to prevent, identify, and assess hearing disorders, as well as to provide treatment—including hearing aids and other assistive listening devices. An audiologist is typically trained in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology/Communication Sciences and Disorders before they even begin the four year program necessary to become an audiologist. To put it simply, an audiologist is a hearing doctor and the person best trained to help you in fitting a hearing aid.

Get The Right Ear Mold
According to Health Hearing, "Ear molds significantly impact the sound quality of behind-the-ear hearing aids. In fact, there is a whole area of ''ear mold science'' that addresses ''ear mold plumbing'' and the acoustic impact particular widths, depths, inside diameters, outside diameters, vents and other ear mold factors have on sound quality and related issues." A good ear mold impression done by a professional using material that is specific to your type of ear--ears can be softer or harder, is the best way to get a good ear mold. Ear molds need to be snug enough to help eliminate feedback and sound problems, but should not be painful. That's one of the reason buying a hearing aid online can be so dissatisfying for customers. It is rare for a patient to put on a hearing aid and have the right fit automatically. This is why trusting your audiologist and working with him or her to get the right fit is so important.

Choose the Right Hearing Aid
Understand the options available for hearing aids. The choices available for hearing aids aren't widely known. it's important to know what kinds of hearing aids are best suited for your needs and the level of your hearing loss. To learn more about types of hearing aids and the level of hearing loss they help, Second Sense Hearing Solutions has examined and identified the following top five options: in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-ear, completely-in-the-ear-canal and in-the-ear-canal.

It's also important to remember the few simple rules for hearing aid success.

Open Fit Hearing Aids
The occlusion effect—the hollow or booming sound of your voice when you wear a hearing aid can disturb the way you hear and cause discomfort. Occlusion can usually be avoided with an open fit hearing aid or fixed with adjustments from you audiologist. As Hear-it.org points out, “In most cases, creating a passageway through the hearing aid to unblock the ear solves the problem. This allows the vibrations of the patient's own voice to escape the ear. A larger passage promotes a more normal sounding voice.”

Working with a qualified and recommended audiologist is a good way to ensure that you have the proper care in fitting your hearing aid. If you have any discomfort, occlusion, or find your hearing aid slips see your audiologist. Many times the cost of aftercare visit and adjustments to hearing aids are included in your purchase of hearing aids.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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