Expectations at the Initial Fitting
- The initial reaction to your own voice with hearing aids can be negative. Patients often say their own voice is louder and sounds strange or like “they are talking in a barrel”. This is frequently caused by hearing yourself amplified through a microphone. If you are not able to adjust to your voice after regular use of the hearing aids for a few days, then you may be experiencing something called the “occlusion effect” and you need to discuss this with your audiologist.
- Expect a period of adjustment. It takes the typical new hearing aid user 4 to 6 weeks to get comfortable with listening to new sounds and using the new hearing aids.
- Your audiologist should measure the benefit provided by the hearing aids. This is called verification. The audiologist must verify that your hearing aids are providing optimal performance by doing Real Ear Measures. A small microphone in the ear canal is used to take measurements with the hearing aid in your ear. See the What to Expect at My Hearing Aid Fitting section for more information.
- You should expect to have multiple follow-up visits.
- Well fit hearing aids should be comfortable in your ears; but, hearing aids and/or earmolds are made from impressions and adjustments may be needed to achieve a good fit. Any discomfort should be reported to your audiologist immediately in order for the issue to be resolved.
- Your audiologist will recommend daily use of your hearing aids. Regular use of your hearing aids will increase your chances for successful adjustment.
- Environmental sounds like running water, footsteps, paper crinkling, etc. will be amplified. These are sounds you may not have heard since developing a hearing loss. In time, you can learn to ignore these sounds again.
- Hearing aids can whistle! The whistling is called acoustic feedback. It occurs when there is not a tight seal between the sound going into the ear and the ear. It is normal for the hearing aids to whistle when the hearing aids are covered. For example, cupping your ears when your hearing aids are in, will likely produce whistling. However, this should not happen spontaneously when you are using your instrument. If you do experience spontaneous or excessive feedback, then you need to see your audiologist.