It can seem a bit overwhelming to think about wearing hearing aids. But if you suspect that you would benefit from them, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test. While you may be familiar with the hearing test appointment, you may not know a lot about what comes next – a hearing aid fitting.

1. Why is this a separate appointment?

Some styles of hearing aids don’t require a specially-fitted earmold, but many do. If the hearing aid that benefits you most requires an earmold, your audiologist takes an impression at your first appointment, after the hearing exams. That impression is sent to the manufacturer and used to create your custom hearing aids. It takes a couple of weeks for the hearing aids to be sent to the audiologist. Then the units are programmed and then are ready to be checked for fit and sound.

2. Are there more tests?

Yes, this appointment involves a sound test. A thin tube is inserted in your ear canal to measure how your eardrum responds to sounds of various volumes. The test is performed again with your hearing aids and the thin tube, to once more measure your eardrum’s response to sound. These measurements allow your audiologist to balance amplification and frequency so you to hear all sounds comfortably. Sometimes an adjustment is needed after you’ve worn your new hearing aids for a few days.

3. Can I wear my hearing aids that day?

You’ll wear your hearing aids for a few hours after the fitting. It takes a few days to get used to wearing your units and the sounds you hear, so over the next week or so you will gradually increase the amount of time you wear your devices. It’s best to begin wearing your hearing aids in a quiet environment and then work up to nosier places, such as a restaurant. It will take your brain a few days to become accustomed to new sounds. You may find that your voice or other’s voices sound a little funny at first. Don’t worry – that’s normal. If at any time you are uncomfortable with the fit or the sound, contact your audiologist for adjustments.

4. Does my fitting include information about my hearing aids?

When you think about the cost of hearing aids, you may hesitate a bit when you think about how best to care for them. However, there’s nothing to worry about. Your audiologist will teach you how to insert and remove your hearing aids along with how to clean them. You’ll learn how to adjust the volume, change the batteries and any other things specific to your style of units. It seems like a lot to take in, but you’ll have some reference materials to take home. If you have any questions, call the office for information.

With the answers to these questions about a hearing aid fitting, you should be well-prepared for the appointment and ready to wear your new devices!