Hearing health has a profound impact on our lives – particularly if you have noticed you can’t hear quite as well as you used to. If you are experiencing any hearing loss or other changes in your hearing health, contact the hearing instrument specialists at Hearing Well Matters! for fast, non-invasive auditory tests that will help determine the next steps on your hearing health journey.
If our specialist determines you have hearing loss, the next step will be to discuss treatment options. Hearing aids are the most commonly recommended treatment for hearing loss, with a variety of different styles and features available to meet your unique needs. Don’t worry – our team will be with you each step of the way to help evaluate, select, fit and program your devices!
The Testing Process
First, we’ll examine your outer ear with an otoscope, then use a video otoscope to examine your ear canal and eardrum. We’ll then decide on the additional tests appropriate for your needs.
Tests may include:
- Tympanometry: Looks at the health of your eardrum, ear canal and auditory neural pathways
- Pure tone: “Beep” tests to determine how well you can hear and process certain frequencies
- Speech tests: Assess how well you understand speech in a variety of environments
You may also be asked to provide information regarding your overall health, occupation and hobbies since some activities can contribute to hearing loss.
After the Hearing Tests
Your test results will help the professionals at Hearing Well Matters! make the best treatment recommendations that suit your unique needs and lifestyle. At this point, your hearing instrument specialist may recommend additional tests or provide a referral to another medical professional.
If you and your hearing instrument specialist determine that a hearing aid is right for you, you’ll get the opportunity to see, touch and evaluate different styles of devices. In addition to evaluating your type and degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle and your hobbies, your hearing instrument specialist will consider your financial circumstances when recommending the best option.
Once you’ve chosen a device, your hearing instrument specialist may take impressions of your ears to ensure the best fit. Your device will be programmed in our offices, but additional visits may be necessary as you adjust to life with your new hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Fitting and Programming
It’s time to rediscover the sounds you’ve been missing! At this appointment, your hearing instrument specialist will make adjustments to your new digital device to make sure the settings and fit are ideal for your needs. You’ll also learn about the routine maintenance necessary to keep your hearing aid working at peak efficiency.
You may find it helpful to bring a loved one to the appointment with you for support! It’s normal to experience a range of emotions when you begin wearing hearing aids. Sounds should be audible, clear and pleasant, so be sure to tell your Hearing Well Matters! professional if you are experiencing feedback or any discomfort.
You may be given a short list of questions to answer about what you are hearing with your new device. Honest feedback can help your hearing instrument specialist make adjustments to ensure that you have the best listing experience possible.
Live Speech Mapping
Live speech mapping increases the chances that the programming of your new digital device is done correctly on the first try, reducing the number of office visits necessary to make sure that your hearing aid is working as efficiently as possible. During your live speech mapping appointment, your hearing instrument specialist will use speech as a stimulus to adjust your new hearing aids to the optimal settings.
Small microphones will be placed in your ear canal and will measure the response of your device. You may be asked to bring along a family member or loved one to your live speech mapping appointment. In addition to offering emotional support to the patient, the presence of a loved one can help your hearing instrument specialist gauge your ability to hear and process speech and other familiar sounds.
The benefits of live speech mapping include the following:
- A focus on your ability to hear and process human speech
- Engages the patient and loved ones in the fitting profess
- Immediate and tangible results
- Increased patient confidence and comfort
- Accurate programming of your hearing aid
- Increases the successful outcomes of fittings and reduces the number of office visits necessary to program your device
Adjusting to Your New Hearing Aids
Keeping a positive attitude is key to your success with your hearing aid. It may take some time to get used to your new device, so maintaining communication with your hearing instrument specialist is key to a great experience!
Hearing Aid Repair and Maintenance
Hearing aids are comprised of a number of microelectronics that may experience deterioration and wear-and-tear over time. Be sure to attend all of your scheduled maintenance appointments and contact Hearing Well Matters! immediately if you experience any performance issues with your device.
Hearing Aid Repairs
Your device can malfunction even if you’ve been performing the appropriate routine maintenance. The hearing aid may be aging, have sustained physical damage or have been exposed to moisture. The hearing instrument specialists at Hearing Well Matters! are trained to evaluate and fix broken or malfunctioning hearing aids, and some minor repairs can be done quickly in our office.
In some instances, devices need to be returned to the manufacturer for repairs. If this is the case, your hearing instrument specialist will act as a liaison between you and the manufacturer to keep you up to date as the repair progresses and so you know exactly when your device will be returned to you.
Hearing aids do come with a warranty upon purchase. Even if your warranty has expired, it is possible to repair most devices for a small fee depending on the extent of the damage and the age of the device. This repair may come with a new warranty.
If your device is severely damaged or cannot be repaired, our hearing instrument specialists will help you determine your next steps.
Hearing Aid Maintenance
Perform routine maintenance to keep your device in good working order. Clean your hearing aid daily with a dry cloth. If applicable, remove the batteries at night to allow any gathered moisture to evaporate. Examine your device routinely for any cracks, scratches or other visible damage. Don’t use water or any solvents for cleaning! These liquids may cause damage to the electronics that your unit needs to function properly.
Don’t expose your device to extreme heat, steam baths, saunas or leave it in your vehicle or in direct sunlight. Contact Hearing Well Matters! immediately if you discover any type of damage or experience any malfunctions.