How Does a Hearing Instrument Specialist Program Hearing Aids
Programming hearing aids is a delicate and important process, that forms a vital part of receiving your hearing aids. This programming will ensure that the hearing aids are properly adjusted to suit your diagnosis, meeting your hearing needs and giving you the best experience possible.
For many people, receiving your first pair of hearing aids can be an incredibly exciting process, culminating in the first moment you are able to experience the improved clarity of sound offered by hearing aids. Yet the process behind how this works is often misunderstood. Your hearing aids aren’t just mechanical pieces of equipment; they must be programmed using software to offer the right levels of volume before you can make the best use of them.
What does a hearing instrument specialist do?
A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) is someone who specializes in dealing with hearing aids, from prescription to supply. They are a certified member of the hearing health profession, and they are the person who will end up programming your hearing aids. After an initial consultation with a HIS, they may refer you to other specialists who will be able to treat and diagnose your specific hearing conditions and they will discuss any test results with you.
Primarily, this person is responsible for advising you on different types of hearing aid, helping you decide which will suit your needs, then dispensing or selling the chosen option. Finally, they will help you to fit and adjust your hearing aids, programming them to meet your specific requirements.
Why are my hearing aids programmed?
Although custom hearing aids are available, molded to perfectly fit the shape of your ear, the hearing aid itself works digitally through a piece of software coded into the hearing aid. As each individual will have a different level of hearing loss, and therefore need different levels of support, this software must be programmed to meet different needs.
Therefore, when you first receive a hearing aid, it must be programmed to allow you to receive the best quality sound possible. Of course, your hearing needs may change over time. The digital operation means your hearing aids can continue to be reprogrammed and adjusted, so you don’t have to get new hardware each time your hearing changes.
How does the process work?
Your hearing instrument specialist will walk you through every step in the process of receiving your hearing aids, from your first tests, through your diagnosis and prescription, to you walking away with your programmed hearing aids safely in place.
Before you can receive your hearing aids, you must receive your prescription. After undergoing your hearing tests, your HIS will discuss your needs with you. This prescription will inform you what methods to undertake to help combat your hearing loss, including receiving hearing aids. If this is necessary, your prescription will contain the necessary data that will determine the volume levels your hearing aid will initially be programmed for.
Programming the hearing aid
Following your tests, consultations and the issuing of a hearing aid prescription, the HIS will program your hearing aid. This initial level will be based upon the information contained in your prescription and should end up with the hearing aid at the best setting to effectively help your hearing. Theoretically, your hearing aids will be perfectly customized to your hearing loss needs, and all that is left is the final consultation to check they are functioning correctly.
At this point in the process, you will attend an appointment with your HIS. The main purpose of this session will be to fit your hearing aids for the first time – so come prepared to experience the world of sound in a completely different way. As your hearing aids are fitted so they are comfortable, you will also be asked to complete a few extra hearing tests. These will ensure that the initial programming has hit the right levels to meet the requirements of your prescription. It is also a great chance for your HIS to immediately adjust any programming based on your feedback, so you can leave feeling confident with your new hearing aids.
Although many people finish the process after step three, many others may need to return to their HIS for further programming adjustments. This can happen for several reasons as you get used to your new hearing aids. You might need several appointments over a few months in order to find exactly the right levels, or it could just take one or two extra visits. Either way, your hearing instrument specialist will continue to work with you until you are completely happy with your hearing aids.
To enquire about hearing aids, or simply to find out more about how they work, speak to a hearing specialist by calling Wise Hearing today!
- Bayonne: (201) 620-9120
- Kearny: (201) 428-2820
- Bergen: (201) 399-4273