is it time to take action on your hearing loss?
On average, people wait 10 years before seeking help for their hearing loss. Addressing the issue sooner will improve your chances of success with hearing aids.
Taking the first step:
If a hearing loss is identified during your hearing assessment, your results will help to determine which part of your hearing system has been affected and what type of management you would benefit from. Hearing aids may be recommended as part of your hearing loss management in order to optimise your hearing and restore audibility of softer sounds. It is important to ask questions and discuss any concerns or expectations you have with your Audiologist or GP at this time.
The initial stages of acclimatising to a hearing aid requires commitment and perseverance. Even experienced hearing aid wearers need time to adapt to new hearing aids. The (re)introduction of sounds which you have learned to live without may be overwhelming at first, but over time, your brain will learn to accept these sounds as normal and process the important sounds in a more effective and meaningful way. It may take longer for some people to fully adapt to the new sound, but in most cases it is possible to determine whether we're on the right track within the first month.
What to expect from your hearing aid trial:
We understand that it is impossible to determine the real benefits (or problems) with wearing your hearing aids in the clinic, without giving you ample opportunity to use them in your everyday environment. For this reason, we offer one month zero-obligation hearing aid trials.
The Fitting Appointment
Hearing aids are digital devices that are programmed and fine tuned by your Audiologist using computer software.
Your Audiologist will:
Check the fit and physical comfort of the devices in your ears.
Where appropriate, complete an 'in-situ' audiogram (a hearing test with the hearing aids in) to calibrate the softest levels you can hear your hearing aids.
Check for feedback (whistling) and make necessary adjustments to minimise this.
Perform real-ear measurements (REM) - this involves placing small microphones into your ear canals to measure the output of your hearing aids in your ears, and making adjustments to match your prescribed amplification targets.
Ask for your feedback on your personal listening comfort and make any necessary adjustments.
Instruct you on hearing aid handling and maintenance.
Evaluating the hearing aids:
In the initial stages, you may need to build up your wear time by an hour or two each day to allow time to acclimatise to the new sound. Once you are feeling confident, it is important to wear your new hearing aids as much as possible and in many different listening situations in order to evaluate them fully. It can be helpful to take notes of your observations, including things you like and don't like about your hearing aids. After the first two weeks, we allow time for some 'fine-tuning' to smooth out any early kinks.
At the end of your trial, you will have a few options:
If you are happy with the devices and want to continue using them, we will ask you to provide payment and periodic reviews will be organised with you to monitor your progress during your acclimatisation period. First time hearing aid users are also invited to attend our Listening + course on communication strategies and environmental modifications for better hearing.
If you do not want the hearing aids, but would like to try something different, we can return the aids and organise another trial based on your earlier experience and preferences.
If you are not ready for hearing aids, we can return them for you, no questions asked.
With proper care and management, hearing aids can be expected to last for about five to six years. We aim to recommend devices with enough flexibility to be able to provide optimal amplification for that period, but it is recommended to return for a repeat audiogram and adjustment periodically to keep pace with your hearing changes.