Hearing Aid Fitting

  • Reference Number: HEY-966/2017
  • Departments: Audiology

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your procedure.  Most of your questions should be answered by this booklet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the audiologist, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What will happen during my fitting appointment?

The audiologist will discuss your hearing loss with you and will ensure that you understand the results of your hearing test, which will have been performed at an earlier date.  The audiologist will ask some questions related to your hearing loss and the difficulties you are experiencing.

The audiologist will look down your ear canal with an otoscope; this is a small hand held device that illuminates the ear canal.  To perform this test a small plastic tip will be placed just into the entrance of the ear canal. At your previous appointment it will have been discussed which style of fitting is best for your hearing loss.  If the hearing aid is to be fitted on an ear mould then the audiologist will insert the ear mould into your ear to check the fit and to measure the correct length of tubing that connects the earmould to the hearing aid.  If the hearing aid is to be fitted on an open ear fit configuration, the audiologist will choose the correct sized ear piece that will sit in your ear canal and place a small measuring device on your ear in order to determine the correct length of slim sound tubing.  This will connect the ear piece to the hearing aid.

To program the hearing aid to your hearing loss, a number of measurements will be performed.  A thin soft tube will be inserted into your ear canal enabling the audiologist to measure a series of sounds within your ear.  You will be required to sit facing a speaker whilst these sounds are played.  The audiologist will make prescriptive adjustments to the hearing aid and then discuss your opinions regarding sound quality.  Further adjustments can be made for your personal preference.

Following the programming of your hearing aid, the audiologist will demonstrate how to operate and clean the hearing aid.  You will also be shown how to insert and remove your hearing aid.

If you have any questions for the audiologist do not hesitate in asking them at your appointment.

What should I expect from my hearing aid?

Digital hearing aids are fitted to your hearing loss.  Your digital hearing aid will adjust automatically according to the setting and environment that you are in. A hearing aid is not going to restore your hearing; however, it should help you with the hearing difficulties that you have been experiencing.  You should be able to hear many everyday sounds that you may not otherwise be able to hear.  You may also begin to hear sounds that you have forgotten, such as the rustling of your jacket or the hum of your fridge.  Many of these forgotten sounds may be quite noticeable at first but they will soon become acceptable as you wear the hearing aid and adapt to it.

Many new hearing aid users note that their voices sound different to themselves again this will become acceptable over time. You will need to be motivated and have perseverance to go through the rehabilitation process of wearing the hearing aid.  Acquiring the full benefit from your hearing aid is a gradual process.  Most new hearing aid users will take between 8 and 12 weeks on average to acclimatize to the amplification. If you have decided to have two hearing aids, it is important that you wear them as a pair, as they are set up to work in unison with each other.

How do I prepare for the appointment?

Please read the information leaflet.  Share the information it contains with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support.  There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of you following this examination.

The tests performed can be affected and, in some cases, prevented by wax and ear infections; it is important that you ensure your ears are clear of wax.  Your GP will be able to offer you advice if you are uncertain.  If you have an ear infection it is wise to contact the Audiology Department in order to rearrange your appointment.

How long will the appointment take?

The appointment will take approximately 1 hour.

Will I have any further appointments?

You will need to return to the Audiology Department on a 6 monthly basis to have your hearing aid maintained.  You will be provided with contact details for you to arrange this. You will not be routinely offered a follow up appointment.  The Audiology Department has an open access policy, which means you can contact the department at any time to arrange further follow up appointments and hearing assessments.  You do not require another referral from your GP.

In some cases, your hearing test results or responses during the medical history taking may lead to a recommendation from the audiologist to have a referral to the Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) department.  If you agree to this, the audiologist will contact your GP via a letter to arrange this.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Audiology Department on telephone number: (01482) 624833

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.