Hearing Aid Fitting
An important step in optimal hearing aid performance
If you think you may have a hearing loss, we encourage you to take our free online hearing test game. If you fail the test, it’s important that you schedule a professional in-office appointment. Anyone over age 50 that hasn’t had their hearing tested in the past year should schedule an appointment as well, as recommended by the AMA. This testing also gives you a “baseline” to measure where you’re hearing now, so you can have something to reference with future testing.
A hearing aid is oftentimes required to restore previous levels of hearing health and ensure your continued ability to hear the world around you. Selecting a hearing aid may seem a little intimidating, but with our knowledgeable hearing instrument specialists and our focus on your comfort and concerns, our simple process makes it work for you.
One of the most important steps in ensuring your comfort upon wearing a hearing aid is to have you undergo a hearing aid fitting. A correct fit is not only where we want a device that rests comfortably in your ear, but one that works naturally with the unique shape and contours of your inner ear to ensure optimal hearing.
Why Your Fit is Important
Several large studies have shown that people who have a degree of hearing loss, even in midlife, have an increased risk of developing dementia later in life. An example of this is a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph. D., and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled the risk, and people with severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.1 The Washington Post reported that Preliminary studies appear to promise that using hearing aids protects against dementia. One review of 30 studies found that while people with hearing loss had poorer cognition than those with normal hearing, those who used hearing aids fared cognitively better than those who did not use hearing aids.2
This is why it is important to receive the right hearing help, the correct amplification for your needs, and why seeing a professional is important.
Why you shouldn't wait
Use it or lose it: Hearing loss and brain function
Talk to audiologists about hearing, and there’s one phrase that you’ll hear time and again: Use it or lose it.
The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more trouble the brain has understanding and processing information.
That is, you may “hear” the sounds of someone talking, but your brain will struggle to understand the actual words being used. This is often referred to as auditory deprivation. This is when fewer sounds make their way to the brain, the brain reacts by shifting how it operates. Even with only minor hearing loss, the parts of your brain that handle auditory processing can switch to visual processing instead, per a 2014 study.3
Hearing Aid Standards and Fitting
The standards were originally developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the HOC Committee on hearing aid Selection and Fitting. Technology has drastically improved over the years, giving us new ways to measure optimized hearing. From a combination of behavioral measures, your feedback, and technological measures such as “Real Ear” and Sound Field Testing, we are able to offer hearing aid fittings that are effective in varied acoustical environments.
A hearing aid fitting is a delicate process. We care about every one of our patients and will work with you to offer the highest quality fitting we can provide. Through our metrics and listening and understanding your valuable feedback, we can offer optimal hearing solutions to clients with different backgrounds and different hearing needs.
Be sure to take our free online hearing test game to get started on improving your hearing loss today. Give us a call and we can have you on your way to improved hearing and to having hearing aid solutions that not only work but fit comfortably in your ear and work to the most optimal level.
Acute Hearing wants to provide you with the best outcome for your hearing. Therefore, we have implemented Real Ear Measurements - or REM in our office. Real Ear is a state-of-the-art measurement tool used to determine whether a hearing aid user is receiving the level of amplification needed at every frequency to achieve the best hearing possible.
The shape of your ear is unique, like a fingerprint- your ear canal is shaped differently than anyone else’s. The ear function is so complex that it is important to make sure that your hearing at the most optimum level possible. Real Ear measurement measures the patient’s ear canal shape and size to adjust the hearing instruments to perform at the best level that is unique to that person.
During this procedure, a small probe microphone is inserted in the ear with the hearing aid. The hearing aid user listens to various recorded speech samples. While our hearing professionals adjust these sound levels to match the target amplification based on the hearing aid user’s audiogram.
Without using Real-Ear measurement, your hearing aids could be under or over amplified. It’s important, whether you just purchased hearing aids or have worn them for some time, to come into our office and have your hearing instrument sound levels measured because having healthy hearing means having the right prescription.
Most hearing aid providers do not take this extra step even though doing so is related to superior outcomes and improved benefits in both quiet and noise. We think you are worth it!