What to expect - 7 steps to better hearing

By: Clarity Hearing  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Hearing Aids, Hearing Aid, Ear Canals

1) Initial Consultation:

Your first visit is designed to give you and us a complete picture of your hearing difficulties. The visit includes a hearing and medical history, discussion of the difficulties you have hearing and a complete hearing assessment.

During the testing we will take a close look inside your ear canals with our video camera and will assess your ability to detect sound and how well you understand speech. We will also measure how well your ear drums transfer sound into the ear. When the assessment is complete, we discuss our findings with you. In some cases there may be several treatment options and we will explain all the choices, their advantages, and the approximate costs, if any.

If hearing aids are an option we will demonstrate how they will sound using our hearing aid simulator so you will know if they'll make a difference without having to trial them. We also discuss with you the funding that the government will provide towards the cost of hearing aids. Always, the final decision is yours and we don't want you to feel pressured into making hasty decisions. We will always provide honest advice and are more than happy to help you, if you want us to help you.

2) Hearing Aid Selection:

Hearing aids are designed to last around 5 years so you need to be sure you're making the right choices. We'll walk you through the different technology and style options that could suit you and we'll describe how each works and their pros and cons. Together we'll decide which model is likely to best suit your personality, your hearing acuity, the different environments you're regularly in and the things you really want to hear better.

If you're paying for part of the hearing aid cost yourself, we'll provide you with an accurate quote which will include the deduction of the government contribution. Rest assured that you won't be stuck with the hearing aids if they're not satisfactory in some way. Clarity has an arrangement with the hearing aid manufacturers where we can return the hearing aids, so long as we do so within two months of them being fitted.

We'll measure your ears to get the prescription for the hearing aids we choose to trial.  Sometimes we need to take a cast or impression of the ear canal shape to ensure the hearing aids will fit comfortably and securely. It usually takes 7-14 days for the hearing aids to arrive after order.

3) Hearing Aid Fitting:

Get ready for a whole new world of sound! Your hearing aids will be placed in or on your ears and we'll check them for comfort and stability. The hearing aids will be tuned via a computer. Verification measurements will be made to ensure that the hearing aids are only amplifying the sounds that you miss, to bring your hearing as close as possible back to normal.

Following this, we'll chat with you to check that the speech is sounding natural. Everyone has their own preference for how things should sound, so further fine-tuning changes might be made to better suit you.

4) Hearing Aid Orientation:

This is where you learn how to work with the hearing aids. We'll show you the ins and outs of your hearing aids; how to clean them, change the batteries and turn them on and off. We'll practice putting the hearing aids in and taking them out of your ears. We'll also discuss with you what to expect when you get home with the hearing aids.

You're likely to hear all sorts of everyday sounds that you've forgotten about. Other sounds that you thought you were hearing 'normally' will sound quite different. The hearing part of the brain takes a little while to re-tune itself to hearing everything again, as it is out of practice. At first it can be quite astonishing as you realise just how much you were missing.

5) Fine-tuning follow up:

We like to see you after the hearing aids have been fitted to make sure they're comfortable to wear and that you're managing them well (usually within 3 weeks of being fitted).  At this appointment we'll fine-tune the hearing aids, if needed, depending on how you're adjusting to their sound quality. Because we fit the hearing aids in a sound-treated clinic you might find that the aids sound a little different once you've worn them at home and out socially, and we may need to tweak their sound to suit you better. We may schedule a further appointment if we feel that the aids might need another adjustment, once you're worn them for longer.

Every person is unique, so we tailor the trial to suit you. Our aftercare scheme includes a warranty check up after you've had the hearing aids for 12 months. At the warranty appointment we'll test your hearing and the hearing aids to make sure everything is working optimally.

6) Recall Examinations:

Clarity runs a recall programme. Some of our patients visit us every six months for check ups, but we find that most adults require only an annual recall appointment. Please contact us if you wish to be placed in this programme.

7) Finally:

Thank you for reading this page. Clarity is dedicated to helping you reach and maintain the best hearing possible.

Keywords: Ear Canals, Hearing Aid, Hearing Aids

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