Hearing Aid Fitting and Verification
At Chicago hearing Care, we practice patient-centered-care. The Person-Centered Hearing Network defines person-centered care (PCC) as one that ensures that people are equal and active partners in the management of their hearing difficulties. Designed around the individual, PCC focuses on and is respectful of people’s needs and preferences, involves family and other communication partners, and includes shared decision-making and goal setting.
On your second visit to our center, your selection of devices will be ready. Please plan 1 to 1.5 hours for this appointment.
Hearing Aid Verification
The first step in the hearing aid fitting process is determining the appropriate amount of amplification for your unique hearing profile. This is accomplished by entering the results of your test, programming of your hearing devices and conducting real ear measurements. You will be hearing through your hearing aids at this time.
Verification is the process where the audiologist verifies that your hearing aid is performing the way it is supposed to perform in different environments and at different input levels (or volume levels). Hearing aids are usually returned for one of three reasons: they do not live up to the user’s expectations, they do not perform in situations with background noises as expected, or, there are feedback or whistling issues.
To avoid these known difficulties, fittings can be highly improved by verification processes. To verify hearing aid performance in the user’s own ears, the audiologist uses sophisticated computerized equipment to take Real Ear Measurements and check hearing aid settings. Surprisingly, in the field, less than 50% of audiologists and hearing aid practices use verification as part of the fitting.
Studies prove that verification increases user’s satisfaction and decreases follow-up visits to the audiologist. Verification works to make your hearing solution better suited to your particular needs without frequent trips for adjustments. We provide verification testing because it is the best technology available to make your hearing solution as accurate and easy for you as possible.
After the technical measurements are made, your audiologist will show you how to use and care for the devices and answer any questions you may have.
Hearing Aid Follow-Ups:
The fitting appointment is the beginning of your evaluation period with your hearing aids (30 day trial period). During this time we usually see you back after about two weeks (or earlier if you have questions or concerns) to see how you are doing with your new devices. At this appointment the audiologist may adjust the programming of your devices, or, depending on your hearing aid model, add additional programs for specialized situations like restaurants, lectures, or concerts. This is also a good time to review any instructions regarding the use and care of your new instruments.
It is important that you wear your new hearing aids as much as possible during the trial period so you can give your brain a chance to get used to all the new signals it will be receiving. At first it may seem loud and overwhelming, but that is because your brain has been missing out on all the information you couldn’t hear. It has to reacclimatize itself to the additional input and learn which signals to listen to (speech) and which to ignore (traffic, extraneous voices, etc.). In fact, it is not unusual for new hearing aid wearers to think their plumbing is broken because they can hear running water or call their mechanic about their turn signals because they have not been able to hear them for so long. It will also take a while for both you and the people around you to learn how loud to talk once that you have the devices. You are all used to talking louder than normal and will need to modulate your voices to account for your improved hearing.
We want you to be completely satisfied with your new hearing devices, and that means we want you to wear them and benefit from them. If for some reason you are not happy with your hearing aids by the end of your evaluation period, we will do everything we can to find the right solution for you.