Hearing Aid Evaluation

After a comprehensive hearing evaluation, you will be scheduled for a hearing aid evaluation if your hearing loss is not medically or surgically treatable.

Your hearing aid evaluation entails the following:

  • Review of your audiogram and hearing loss type. This is an opportunity to ask as many questions as you like. It is recommended that you bring a family member with you to the hearing aid evaluation. Most audiologists agree that hearing loss is a family issue. It helps to have another supportive person at the appointment to help you understand the information and recommendations.
  • Quick Speech-in-Noise Test (QSIN): Just as your audiologist tested your ability to understand speech in quiet, it is equally important to determine your ability to understand speech in noise. As you know, we live in a noisy world. From this test, your audiologist can determine if you have normal, mild, moderate or severe hearing difficulty in noise. This test is an important part of the hearing aid selection process.
  • Most Comfortable (MCL) and Uncomfortable Levels (UCL) of Loudness: You will be situated in the sound booth and headphones will be placed on your head. First, the audiologist will determine your MCL for each ear individually and both ears together in response to speech stimuli. Then the audiologist will present tones (to each ear individually) and ask you to rate their loudness. Several different frequencies will be assessed. The audiologist needs to know the difference between “Loud, but okay” vs. “Uncomfortably Loud.” Obtaining UCLs is a fundamental part of setting your hearing aids appropriately for loud sounds.
  • Lifestyle Needs Assessment: Our audiologist will ask you to complete an assessment questionnaire. You will be asked questions about your lifestyle, such as social activities, whether you work or are retired, communication difficulties and what your most important priorities for improving your hearing are.

Hearing Aid Selection

In today’s world, there are many different styles of hearing aids (the way they look) and technology levels (basic, mid-level and premium). We will discuss features such as Bluetooth® and other wireless connectivity devices to enhance your listening experiences in a wide variety of situations.

Based on your hearing loss, communication needs and budget, we will assist you in selecting the most appropriate style and technology to best match your hearing loss and lifestyle. Keep in mind, everyone’s hearing loss is different and listening needs are unique, so what we recommend for you may be quite different for what we recommend for someone else. See our “Hearing Aids” link for a comparison of the different styles we carry. Depending on the style you choose, you may need to have impressions made of your ears.

Hearing Aid Fitting

After you have selected the best hearing aids for your needs, we will schedule an appointment for you to be fitted with them. We will program the hearing aids to your hearing loss and perform “Real Ear” measurements to ensure audibility of speech sounds. By performing Real Ear measurements, we can determine an accurate fit of your hearing aids for soft speech, moderate speech and loud speech. We also want to ensure that loud sounds are not uncomfortably loud for you. This process involves putting a small and very thin flexible probe microphone into your ear canal. This allows us to specifically tailor the hearing aids for your listening needs and takes into account the acoustics of your individual ear canals. Real Ear measurements make the appointment more interactive and can reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming.

Our audiologist will explain how to use these devices, how to put them in your ear(s) and how to remove them, how to change batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. We will also counsel you on realistic expectations during your first few weeks with your hearing aids. We encourage you to bring family members to your hearing aid fitting so they understand what the hearing aids will do for you. We understand that you will experience a variety of different emotions during this process and we are here to guide you every step of the way.

We firmly believe that attitude is one important key success with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude do better with hearing aids. If you, as well as your spouse or family, approach your hearing aid fitting with a positive outlook, you will have a much better listening experience more quickly. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing, and by working closely with your audiologist you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.

At Silicon Valley Hearing, any programming or adjustments are included (free of charge) within the first year of your purchase. We offer lifetime cleaning services at no additional charge. Please call us whenever you are having problems and we will gladly assist you.

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