Hearing Aid Fitting
Once you have selected your hearing aids after an evaluation, your hearing professional will program them, based on a prescription, to meet your hearing needs. The hearing professional will explain how to use the devices, how to put them in the ear and how to remove them, how to change batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. It is also a good idea to bring family members or close friends to the hearing aid fitting so they can help remember all the information that is given and be a support to you.
When you put the hearing aids in for the first time, you may have different emotions about the sounds you hear. This is normal and to be expected. The goal of the hearing aid is to make everyday sounds audible and comfortable, but the sound you hear should be clear and pleasant. Small changes can be made to the hearing aids at your first fitting if there are things that you feel should be adjusted right away. The hearing professional may do some testing to make sure the hearing aids are giving you enough sound where you need it.
You may be also be given a short survey or list of questions to answer. Be honest about what you hear so that the hearing professional can work with you to create the best listening experience with your new hearing aids. Your hearing aid fitting is only a starting place; other changes to customize the hearing to your liking may need to take place over a few appointments, as you wear the hearing aids in more situations and adapt to all the new sounds you are hearing.
Attitude is one important key to success with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude do better with hearing aids. If you, as well as your spouse or family, approach your hearing aid fitting with a positive outlook you will have a much better listening experience more quickly. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing, and by working closely with your hearing professional, you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.
What is Live Speech Mapping?
Live speech mapping is a fitting and verification method that is used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. With this method, small microphones placed in the ear canal are used to distinguish differences in how you are able to hear speech through your hearing aids.
For your live speech mapping appointment, you will be asked to bring along a family member or close friend to act as the “gauge” in your ability to hear live voices.
Your audiologist will have high-tech equipment that will allow him or her to “see” what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time. The results may also be displayed on a wall-mounted screen so that you can also see the adjustments and participate in the process. This allows both you and your family members to visualize and understand the differences that hearing aids can make in your hearing ability.
Benefits of Live Speech Mapping
Live speech mapping is known for its accuracy. Other mapping and hearing evaluation methods often need tweaking before the hearing aid works perfectly for the user. Live speech mapping increases the chances that your hearing aid mapping will be done correctly on the first try.
Live speech mapping also creates a much more positive fitting experience by allowing both you and your family to see the immediate results of your hearing aids and their positive impact on daily life. Both you and your family will be engaged in the fitting process, making it a joint affair.
If you have a hearing loss, you may not be able to fully understand what you can and cannot hear, and therefore, you may not understand everything you are missing. With this method, you will have the ability to hear the improvements immediately, and you will be shown exactly what you can and cannot hear in real-time.