You have now come quite far along on your journey towards better hearing! At your hearing evaluation appointment, your audiologist should have discussed the different types of hearing aid and levels of technology available, in order to help you come to a decision regarding which aid is best suited to your type of hearing loss, hearing goals and budget. Following this, you can expect to wait a few weeks for your hearing aid fitting appointment.

Hearing aid fitting involves a complex set of procedures, all designed to help you get maximum satisfaction as quickly as possible from your new hearing device. These procedures are split across three stages: fitting, verification and evaluation.

Earmold impressions

If your new aid uses earmolds, impressions of your ears will have been taken at your previous appointment so that your molds are ready to fit today. At your fitting appointment, your audiologist will enter your prescription (which is based on the results of your hearing tests) into a computer. This then uses very advanced software to programme your new hearing aids according to the quietest sounds you can hear at various pitches and the loudest sounds that you can comfortably tolerate.

Real ear measurement tests

The verification process involves a test called real ear measurement (REM). This test is designed to make sure that your new hearing aid is using the correct level of amplification to correspond with the severity of your hearing loss and specific needs. To begin, your audiologist will insert a small tube attached to a microphone into your ear.

This will then measure the volume of sound as heard within your ear canal, close to your eardrum. Following this, your hearing aid will then be carefully fitted without disrupting the testing tube, and new measurements will be taken, this time with the help of your hearing aid. This stage of the appointment is vitally important to ensure a successful hearing aid fitting, allowing your hearing care professional to make adjustments to the settings before you leave the office.

Hearing aid fitting evaluation

Evaluation is the final stage of the fitting process, but it will not be completed at this appointment. A number of carefully scheduled follow up appointments should be arranged during this visit. The purpose of these appointments is to assess to what extent your new hearing aids are helping you to meet your personal hearing challenges; for instance, hearing over the telephone or during work meetings.

Your audiologist may wish to conduct tests during these follow up visits, such as speech recognition, to objectively measure the performance of your hearing aids. However, the most important factor is how well you feel your new device is fulfilling your needs. Consequently, it is important to keep track of your experiences over the first few weeks of use, so that you can bring up any concerns with your hearing care provider at your follow up visit.