Image result for hearing aid fittingIf hearing aids are recommended after your hearing is tested, your Audiologist will then work with you to find the right hearing aids. That selection process, called a hearing aid fitting, starts with an assessment of your needs and ends with follow-up visits after the customized programming of your devices.

Hearing aids work best when they are fitted and adjusted properly and there are a number of factors that goes into a successful hearing aid fitting.

Assessment of needs

Your Audiologist will begin the selection process by conducting an in-depth consultation with you to learn more about your lifestyle, your expectations, your personal preferences and your thoughts on any previous experiences with hearing aids. Your hearing test results, along with this information, will help the professional pull together some options for you to review.

Image result for hearing testHearing test results

The degree of your hearing loss will determine which styles may work best for you, with smaller models generally suited for milder hearing loss. Larger models of hearing aids will work for any degree of hearing loss, including severe or profound. The shape of your hearing loss may also determine the best model for you. For example, a mini-BTE with an open fit works very well for gently sloping losses that mainly affect the higher frequencies, while a BTE with an earmold is a good option for a steeply sloping loss. If your hearing loss is worse in the mid-frequencies than it is in the lower and higher frequencies, then you may need some advanced hearing aid features to best accommodate your hearing loss.


Image result for woman talking on phoneWhen considering your hearing aid, it is important that your Audiologist have a good understanding of the lifestyle you desire.  Over time, you may have started to avoid certain environments and social situations as your hearing loss worsened.  Sharing what you’d like to be able to do with the help of your new hearing aids will help the Audiologist recommend the best devices to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you like to spend time talking to family and friends on the phone, you’ll want a hearing aid that works well with your phone.

Generally, more advanced digital hearing aids are designed for people who encounter many different listening situations with varying degrees of background noise. For sedentary people who are mostly at home with little background noise, basic models may be recommended.


There are many different types of preferences that can affect hearing aid selection.

  • Do you want hearing aids that are nearly invisible, or would you rather have something large enough that allows you to pick a bright color and show off your style?
  • Do you prefer to have control over the volume of your aids or would you prefer to have automated technology that changes it for you?
  • Do you want gadgets, like remote controls and wireless accessories for your hearing aids?
  • Your preferences may be affected by your level of manual dexterity. Will you be willing and able to change a small battery more often or would it be better for you to have a larger style that requires less frequent battery changes?

These are just a few of the preferences that your Audiologist will explore with you.

Previous experience

Finally, it’s important to consider any prior hearing aid experience when selecting a new hearing aid.

  • Did you love your last set of hearing aids? Why?
  • Did you like the style, the sound quality or something else?
  • What did you have difficulty hearing with your old hearing aids?
  • What new features would you like to try?

This type of insight will help your Audiologist determine what you will need in your new hearing instruments to maintain—or improve—your level of satisfaction.

Image result for types of hearing aidsHearing aid selection

After you’ve discussed your needs with your Audiologist, you will generally be presented with a few recommended options at different price points. In some cases, you might have the opportunity to wear a demonstration hearing aid for a few hours or a few days to try out. Once you’ve made your decision, the Audiologist  will order your selection and schedule you to come back at a later date for the initial hearing aid programming. If you’ve decided on a custom-fit ITE style or a BTE with earmold style, your Audiologist will take an impression of your ear canal to send in with the order.

Initial hearing aid programming

When your hearing aid arrives at the hearing center, your Audiologist will hook it up to the computer and program it according to your hearing loss and preferences. Some professionals choose to do the programming before you arrive and some prefer to do it while you’re there.

Once the hearing aids are out of the box and in your ears, you’ll start hearing lots of things you haven’t heard for years. In fact, you might feel like everything is too loud at first. It will take time for your brain to relearn which sounds to ignore, like the sound of your own footsteps or the rustle of your clothing. But don’t worry—your Audiologist will do some tests to make sure that the hearing aid is set appropriately for your hearing loss. You will also be counseled on how to change the battery, use any features, clean and take care of your hearing aid.

Image result for adjusting to hearing aidsAdjusting to your hearing aids

Adjusting to hearing aids takes time. Some people only need a day or two but most people need a few weeks to a few months to adjust to using hearing aids. The important thing to remember is to wear them, even if just for a few hours the first day, an hour longer the following day, and so on until you are wearing hearing aids all day.

Start by wearing them at home or in other quiet listening environments and focus on having one-on-one conversations. As you gradually increase the number of places where you use your hearing aids, don’t be discouraged by background noise. Let your friends and family know you’re using your new hearing aids so they can help you stay committed to better hearing as you wear your aids in more challenging environments. For extra practice with your hearing aids, try to locate the sources of all the sounds in your environment, or listen to audio books or talk radio while you’re home alone.

Here is some “homework” to help you get used to your hearing aids:

  • Wear the hearing aids in your home first.
  • Wear them a few hours the first day, then a few more hours every day after that.
  • Practice locating the source of a sound by listening only.
  • Practice listening to audio books or talk radio.
  • Take part in a hearing aids orientation class.
  • Don’t be discouraged by background noise.

During this time of adjustment, you’ll want to see your Audiologist for as many follow-up visits as you need to fine-tune the sounds you’re hearing, adjust the fit in your ear and talk about the situations that are most challenging for you.

Hearing aids work extremely well when fitted and adjusted properly. They should be comfortable to wear and provide good sound quality. It is important to remember that hearing aids do not restore normal hearing and are not as good as normal hearing.

At first, you will be aware of hearing aids in your ears and your voice will sound “funny.” The quicker you ramp up to wearing them all day, like you would wear a pair of eyeglasses, the faster your brain will re-program itself to ignore the sounds that are meaningless to you.

Successful hearing aid fittings are as individual as you are.  The Audiologists at Shohet Ear Associates take the time to understand your specific needs and tailor an approach that will get the best results. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our highly trained Audiologists!


Source: Healthy Hearing