I think I need a hearing aid. What happens during the first appointment?
Your Independent audiologist will first take a history of your hearing difficulties. It is important that your lifestyle and hearing requirements are fully understood. Only then can a successful result be achieved. A comprehensive hearing assessment will include examination of your ears, a hearing test using pure tones at different pitches, and also word-recognition tests. The results will be explained and together the best options to resolve your hearing difficulties will be discussed.
What type of hearing aid will be best for me?
Your audiologist will take into account many factors when outlining what hearing aid may be best for you, some of these are:
- Whether you have any medical conditions which may impact on hearing aid use.
- Your listening needs. Are you the sort of person who likes a quiet life, does not belong to many clubs and is retired? Are you working in a very busy and noisy office? The more complex your listening needs, the more sophisticated the hearing aids you will require to be satisfied with their performance.
- The style of hearing aid that you prefer. There are many types and some are more discreet than others. Some people want an aid that cannot be seen by others, other people are less concerned by appearances and more interested in other aspects of hearing aid design, such as battery life or the size of the controls.
- How well you will be able to look after the hearing aid you have chosen, and whether you will be able to put them on your ears yourself.
- Your budget. How much do you want to spend on hearing aids? The cost of hearing aids varies depending on the level of technology inside the hearing aid. The most expensive hearing aids will help you to hear in the widest range of situations.
What happens when I decide to trial hearing aids?
Once you have decided to trial hearing aids, you will be given a quotation for the aids that you have selected. If you accept the quotation, the hearing aids will be ordered by the audiologist and a fitting appointment arranged.
The fitting appointment usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour. First, the aids will be programmed via a computer, to suit your specific hearing needs, and their performance tested and fine-tuned in a number of ways. You will then be shown how to use and look after the hearing aids and can practice putting them on your ears. After the first fitting appointment, you will have a series of follow-up appointments, where you will report how you are progressing and if you have encountered any problems. Often adjustments are made at this stage and sometimes, a different model of hearing aid will be trialled.
Independent audiologists value your feedback while you are trialling your hearing aids, so the very best solution can be found to meet your needs. It is very important while you have hearing aids on trial that you your audiologist works with you to ‘get it right’. It can be helpful to bring a friend or family member with you, and to keep brief notes of how the aids are going between appointments.
Further annual follow-ups will be arranged by your audiologist, so any changes in your hearing loss can be compensated for with adjustments to your hearing aids.
After-sales care and service is a very important part of the purchase of hearing aids from any IANZ clinic.