What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting

Posted by Jhhearingaids @jhhearingaids, Oct 11, 2019

What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting

A successful hearing aid fitting is more than just selecting the correct device for your hearing needs. The hearing aids need to be properly fitted to your ears so that they provide the correct amount of amplification to maximize hearing aid benefit.

Prior to fitting the hearing aids, your audiologist will conduct a thorough hearing test to measure the softest sound you can hear at different pitches and record the volume of sound that is uncomfortably loud for you. Based on these tests, your audiologist will know how much gain the hearing aid needs to provide in order to amplify soft sounds so they are audible and how much to compress loud sounds so that they are not uncomfortable.

Different styles of hearing aids, levels of technology, and cost will all be discussed at your Hearing Aid Evaluation appointment. Your various listening environments and expectations of hearing aids will also be discussed. Your audiologist will discuss different features available in hearing aids and make recommendations based on your hearing evaluation and communication needs. You will select the hearing aids you want to order. Earmold impressions will be taken of your ears (if necessary) to order the hearing aids. About two weeks after you order the hearing aids, you will return for the hearing aid fitting.

At the hearing aid fitting appointment, your audiologist will verify that the hearing aids are providing the correct amount of amplification by doing Real Ear Measures. Real Ear Measures allow the audiologist to know how loud sounds are in your ear canal. First, a thin tube will be inserted into your ear canal. This tube is connected to a microphone that will measure the volume of sound near your eardrum without any hearing aid device in your ear.

Next, your hearing aid will be inserted in your ear taking care not to move the probe tube microphone already in your ear canal. Once the hearing aid is turned on, your audiologist will measure how loud the sound is at the output of your hearing aid in your ear. It is important for your audiologist to play different volumes of sound from soft to very loud in order to verify that soft sounds are amplified so you can hear them, that moderate-intensity sounds are amplified to a comfortable listening level, and that loud sounds are considered loud, but do not exceed your discomfort level.

Proper verification of your hearing aid settings is integral to a successful hearing aid fitting. If these measures are not completed, then the audiologist will not know whether your hearing aids are programmed properly. Real Ear Measures ensure that you are getting the appropriate amount of amplification in accordance with the severity of your hearing loss. Once the hearing aids are programmed, your audiologist will then review the care and maintenance of the hearing aids. Tasks, like inserting the hearing aids and changing the batteries, will be practiced in the office.

@joyces

julieo4 and arrowshooter,

The one clinic audiologist told me that my aid purchased at Costco a year ago is new. It does have a telecoil, and the Costco fitter paired it with my smartphone when I acquired one several months later. She told me that she knew there would be a mic to pair with the aid, and that was correct. The other clinic audi (who only tests hearing to evaluate for possible CI) was totally dismissive of Costco on all counts. I scored 55% on the Ci test, 5 points above the level where Medicare would pay for a CI. She told me to spend $6,000 on two aids, wait six months, and come back to see if my hearing would have degraded enough for a CI for my ear that hasn't heard much for decades, and then a new aid for my other ear–a total cost in less than a year of $9,000!

Costco aids are about half the cost of the same aid elsewhere. There are several options, depending on amount and type of loss. The aid I bought has a two-year guarantee against everything, including loss and damage. There is no written statement about subsequent appts. for adjustments, and I've never been told that I can't have an appt. when I've asked for one. The nearest Costco is only 60 miles away…half the distance of the CI clinic. The only thing that I can complain about is that the Costco phone system isn't set up to take messages, so you have to call back if it's busy.

If I ever find a place in this little town where there's an induction loop (not likely!), I'll try that out. During weekly sessions of our lecture group, I sit in the front row and have my mic handy if the speaker tends to wander away from the podium while showing PowerPoints. If the speaker stays close to the podium, I generally don't need the mic. The first day I had it, I left it on, sitting on the table in front of me, during the break and was surprised to hear several people talking to the speaker while I was in the restroom about 75 feet away–surprise! I wasn't able to understand, because there were many voices, (I have a great deal of distortion at all times), but I could hear voices if not words. Because of the distortion, I rely on speech reading along with what I hear.

As for music, I quit playing when my right ear went south because the recruitment literally made me sick and I wasn't able to hear others playing around me. For years, I didn't listen to music, but about 10 years ago I began to listen to classical and jazz that I knew well, filling in the missing parts in my mind. Since I went bilateral, the distortion is so dreadful that all higher instruments (flutes, trumpets, etc.) sound like kazoos. I went to a concert with the Air Force quintet…kazoos! Imagine that! After several years, I'm hoping that the recruitment will taper off, as it did with my right ear after many years. So far, this recruitment isn't quite as bad as it was for my right ear, but the distortion is very hard to learn to live with. I hear sounds, but I don't know what they are–the car engine, the dishwasher or washer, microwave, a faucet running…all sound the same, just pulsating rumbling noise. Part of that is the new tinnitus in my left ear, so when I walk a quarter mile to the mailbox along our gravel road, it constantly sounds as though there might be a car coming even though there seldom is. When a car does approach, it isn't much louder than the T! Strange world out there!

Next trick will be to take a deep breath and start what is likely to be weeks of effort to get Charter to display captions on more than one channel on our TV. I'll work on that after I finish all the fall chores, esp. gutter cleaning. The ship has sailed as far as finishing exterior painting this year!

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@joyces
About the tv captions. I have Spectrum as a carrier here in Florida which is actually the brand name of Charter Communications. From day 1 there has been captions on every channel. Last year we purchased a Roku device to stream movies and shows. We have Netflix, Amazon and Hulu plus a bunch of other free channels. The Roku stick and remote is a one time okay payment at any Target, Best Buy , Walmart etc. I’m wondering if this would be a solution to the captioning problem. Before Roku I turned the captions on via the Tv settings. When I got Roku, there was a setting for Spectrum (charter) for captions and it extended all across the other premium streaming Chanels I have a Visio TV and when that goes I will get a smart tv and eliminate Roku. Our internet , phone and tv are all Spectrum/charter communications. I guess they just call it Spectrum in Florida.

I’m not a techie but I have never had problems withcaptions with any other carrier like FIOS or Dish TV and I don’t even remember the other names.

Frustrating I know.

Florida Mary

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@margottaylor

Thanks for the shout out for the Costco experience and product. I’ve heard the same from several friends who’ve gotten their aids through a Costco.
Joyce what state do you live in?
Thanks , Margot

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Oregon, on the coast. Nearest Costco is about 65 miles east, in Salem.

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In reply to imallears, we live near a tiny town on the Oregon coast, and Charter, now Spectrum, is the only choice other than CenturyLink (used to US West, commonly known as "US Worst" due to poor service). We actually have more stable service in a very rural location with more than a quarter mile of line to reach us here than we had living in the Portland metro area with CenturyLink. I had followed all the instructions to activate closed captions, but it seems that Spectrum had left out an important step. It took months of trying to get through to a real person to fix the problem. FWIW, we have very stable phone and internet, but TV freezes frequently–always during something you're trying to watch instead of commercials, of course! Once I finally got the REAL instructions to set up closed captions, they work fine. In some locations here, ours included, CenturyLink doesn't offer TV, which means zero TV, so Charter/Spectrum is very common…and has tons of complaints, probably because they're really the only universal game in town. Most months, we pay more for Charter than we do for heat–it's our single most expensive utility.

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@joyces

In reply to imallears, we live near a tiny town on the Oregon coast, and Charter, now Spectrum, is the only choice other than CenturyLink (used to US West, commonly known as "US Worst" due to poor service). We actually have more stable service in a very rural location with more than a quarter mile of line to reach us here than we had living in the Portland metro area with CenturyLink. I had followed all the instructions to activate closed captions, but it seems that Spectrum had left out an important step. It took months of trying to get through to a real person to fix the problem. FWIW, we have very stable phone and internet, but TV freezes frequently–always during something you're trying to watch instead of commercials, of course! Once I finally got the REAL instructions to set up closed captions, they work fine. In some locations here, ours included, CenturyLink doesn't offer TV, which means zero TV, so Charter/Spectrum is very common…and has tons of complaints, probably because they're really the only universal game in town. Most months, we pay more for Charter than we do for heat–it's our single most expensive utility.

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@joyces
Wow and whenever we have to call Spectrum we get through right away or they come out the next day. Since everything is internet based, we get TV freezes too and buffering where they reload. If it’s very windy or rainy, it’s a crap shoot. Mostly we are happy with them.

FL Mary

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in response to imallears, re Spectrum:
Initially, we signed up for their triple play service, but the important thing first was to have phone, as we have no cell reception in our very rural location. It took two months and four different phone numbers before we had stable phone service. Then, I worked on internet, and, seven different service people later, it worked and has worked well for the past six years. Finally, months after we moved here, we tried setting up the TV, but it was one problem after another. We learned not to call for service, however, when one of the guys drove a one-ton Ford van (smaller than our extended, taller Club Wagon) up our long driveway. When he got ready to leave (still not having solved the reception problems), he was positive he didn't have room to turn around, although I assured him that I did it all the time with the larger rig. So, he backed down the driveway…until he got to the lowest place, the culvert across our creek. Afraid to back across the culvert, he tried to turn around, resulting in the van being high centered crosswise across the driveway, with the front wheels hanging over the water. We had to exit until a special tow truck arrived to winch the Charter van out! I think that service is very poor here because it's basically the only game in town.

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@joyces

in response to imallears, re Spectrum:
Initially, we signed up for their triple play service, but the important thing first was to have phone, as we have no cell reception in our very rural location. It took two months and four different phone numbers before we had stable phone service. Then, I worked on internet, and, seven different service people later, it worked and has worked well for the past six years. Finally, months after we moved here, we tried setting up the TV, but it was one problem after another. We learned not to call for service, however, when one of the guys drove a one-ton Ford van (smaller than our extended, taller Club Wagon) up our long driveway. When he got ready to leave (still not having solved the reception problems), he was positive he didn't have room to turn around, although I assured him that I did it all the time with the larger rig. So, he backed down the driveway…until he got to the lowest place, the culvert across our creek. Afraid to back across the culvert, he tried to turn around, resulting in the van being high centered crosswise across the driveway, with the front wheels hanging over the water. We had to exit until a special tow truck arrived to winch the Charter van out! I think that service is very poor here because it's basically the only game in town.

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@joyces
Oh good grief and I thought Florida drivers were bad. Should have told him to get a Mini Cooper. I had a Spectrum guy here once who wouldn’t leave until he solved the problem we were having (2 connected homes with same service). He walked around both houses and inspected the connections inside and out….spent so much time here that it was getting kind of creepy. You could see the wheels turning in his mind. But problem solved and he ended up drilling a small hole near my landline and putting in a new modem and explained everything. He was interested in my Captel captioned phone which is connected by an Ethernet cable. Made sure my phone and TV were working. So I guess we do have the better service.

Sometimes I feel I want to move to a farm and raise goats where the word Internet doesn’t exist.

Stay safe
FL Mary

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@imallears

@joyces
Oh good grief and I thought Florida drivers were bad. Should have told him to get a Mini Cooper. I had a Spectrum guy here once who wouldn’t leave until he solved the problem we were having (2 connected homes with same service). He walked around both houses and inspected the connections inside and out….spent so much time here that it was getting kind of creepy. You could see the wheels turning in his mind. But problem solved and he ended up drilling a small hole near my landline and putting in a new modem and explained everything. He was interested in my Captel captioned phone which is connected by an Ethernet cable. Made sure my phone and TV were working. So I guess we do have the better service.

Sometimes I feel I want to move to a farm and raise goats where the word Internet doesn’t exist.

Stay safe
FL Mary

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@imallers . Fl. Mary when you find a farm count me in . I,d love to forget about the world and go to that farm with you. Linda ,

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@lioness

@imallers . Fl. Mary when you find a farm count me in . I,d love to forget about the world and go to that farm with you. Linda ,

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@lioness
And I wouldnt have to struggle every day to understand people with my hearing loss….just me and my assistant goat herders…bleat bleat
FL Mary.

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@imallears

@lioness
And I wouldnt have to struggle every day to understand people with my hearing loss….just me and my assistant goat herders…bleat bleat
FL Mary.

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@imallers We would have to take our stack of wine with us do goats like wine?

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Well, I'm ahead of you on the farm business, except that this is a little piece of old-growth spruce forest, complete with a resident deer herd, a herd of about 40 elk that visit often (they live on the nearby golf course, a constant problem for the groundskeepers), a resident heron, and all sorts of birds, from eagles and goshawks down to songbirds and hummers. Part of the house is almost a hundred years old, with additions tacked on over the years–a typical coast house back when they were built as rooms were needed, foundations not considered very important! As much as I loved my late father, sometimes I curse the way he did things, like hanging a door so that it opens into the room instead of against the side wall. I often wish I had a "real" house, but wouldn't give up the wildlife for anything. Every day, there's at least one animal that surprises or pleases me. Deer often come up to the big window in my office and fog the glass, begging for me to come out with apple slices. We use more than 20# of sunflower seed a week for bird feeders, and I always have real sugar on hand to make juice for all the hummingbird feeders. There was just a chickadee in the seed feeder stuck to the window just above my head, and a hummer held position near their feeder, which means I need to go make juice. I bought this place 58 years ago, halfsies with my parents, so there's lots of history here, too. When cell phones were new, I was disappointed that we have no reception…but, now, I like not being tied to a phone all the time, as I was before we moved here full time six years ago. No goats, though!

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@lioness @joyces
I’m moving my reply to the Just Want To Talk thread because we all love to chat and topics get “off thread” .

FL Mary

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@imallears

@lioness @joyces
I’m moving my reply to the Just Want To Talk thread because we all love to chat and topics get “off thread” .

FL Mary

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Ooops, how do I find the reply you moved? i.e. find that thread you moved to? You are making me think some of my comments may belong there…

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