Step 1: Hearing Test and Consultation
Our hearing tests are comprehensive and professional procedures, using the most up-to-date technology and techniques available. You’ll be made very comfortable and we’ll explain everything as we go along so you always know what is happening.
Firstly, we take a client history. Our qualified audiologist will ask you a few questions about your general health, lifestyle and hearing history.
Next, we will examine your ears so we can immediately identify if there’s any wax or other obstruction or an infection that may be the cause of your hearing loss. If there is, we can either perform an Ear Wax Removal procedure, or refer you to a medical practitioner if required.
We allow 90 minutes for our hearing assessment appointments, to ensure that our audiologists are able to conduct a full, thorough and comprehensive hearing test, perform all necessary procedures, and discuss all relevant medical history. Our audiologists do not rush! We will spend whatever time is needed to ensure we have all the relevant, accurate information to best advise you.
For the hearing test itself, you will sit in a sound-proof booth to avoid the effects of environmental (ambient) noise. You will be invited to wear a set of finely calibrated headphones.
Unlike the NHS and most multi-national chains, we believe that a standard hearing test isn’t always sufficient to be able to give you the best possible advice. That is why we perform an array of tests, including Puretone, Speech in Noise, Tympanometry, Acceptable Noise Levels, and Acoustic Reflex tests.
Step 2: Hearing Aid Selection
There are now more styles and sizes of hearing aids than ever before, all of which are easy to use, comfortable to wear, discreet and powerful. They’re tiny, intelligent high-performance instruments that will make a huge difference to your life.
Wireless technology means that the latest hearing aids can connect to TVs as well as landline and mobile phones for clearer hearing. And, like all modern technology, they now come in a wide range of designs and colours so you can choose the one that you really like.
Hearing aids are designed to help you distinguish between the softer sounds that you want to hear and the louder noises you don’t. The more sophisticated ones will amplify the softer sounds at the same time as ‘dampening’ the harsher ones. This means that if you’re having a conversation in a crowded room, the technology inside your hearing aid will automatically reduce the background noise so it’s no longer distracting. It’ll be easier to hear what your friends are saying, and for you to take a more active part in the conversation. You will also be able to hear in stereo, which will make it easier to work out who’s talking.
The choice of hearing aids is very much a collaboration between the client and the audiologist. The audiologist will use their wealth of knowledge and experience to firstly; ascertain, based on your hearing results, which type of hearing aids are most suitable for your hearing levels, and secondly; by considering your lifestyle, aesthetic tastes, dexterity, technology competence and personal preferences to recommend particular models. For example, a client with an active social life and hectic work schedule may require a dynamic, technologically superior device. A client with a less demanding lifestyle, work commitments or social life may prefer a device that is more automatic and requires less input from the user.
At Hearing Healthcare Centre, we pride ourselves on making suitable recommendations to all of our clients, and will only prescribe what we feel is the best solution for the individual’s needs.
Step 3: Fitting Your Hearing Aid
Hearing Healthcare Centre will contact you to arrange a hearing aid fitting appointment. We will already have performed a preliminary programming of the hearing aids. The hearing aids, at this stage, have been set up using complex algorithms to provide the volume enhancements that your hearing test results indicated.
We will then invite you to experience the improvements for yourself, by fitting the hearing aid. We will listen to your thoughts regarding sound quality, volume, clarity and make further adjustments if necessary.
We will then simulate, in-house, a real-world environment for you to experience the benefit of the new technology and the enrichment that the hearing aids can provide. Clients will experience simulations of busy restaurant babble, classroom environment, music concerts and many, many more. Everybody is unique, and so is their hearing.
In addition, you will also receive detailed operating instructions: how to insert the devices, how to use them and how to control the volume. The audiologist will also explain hearing aid maintenance, how to replace batteries, cleaning and drying the devices.
Finally, the audiologist will explain how your hearing aid reacts in different hearing situations. Now you can take your new hearing aids home.
First Steps with Your New Hearing Aid
Over the first few days, you should familiarise yourself with your new hearing aids. At first, you should wear them for a few hours per day in familiar surroundings. Some things may seem strange to you during this time. The best way to explore the new hearing sensation is to talk to people or watch television. Your own voice may sound strange or too loud to you, because you may have developed a habit of talking too loudly in order to hear your own voice. Practice speaking more softly.
For two weeks, write down all of your experiences – positive or negative – it will help us to make adjustments at your trial assessment.
During the trial assessment, your audiologist will ask you about your experience with the hearing aids over the previous two weeks. We encourage our clients to give an honest account of their experiences, detailing all the relevant information.
Under guidance from client’s feedback, our audiologists will connect your hearing aids to the fitting software, and make any adjustments that we feel will improve your hearing experiences.
Hearing is exceptionally subjective, and people often have different experiences, especially if they are first-time hearing aid users. Only by frank and honest communication with our trained audiologists, can a truly effective hearing solution be found.
We understand that explaining sounds is very difficult. Fortunately, our experienced audiologists can help you assess what sounds good, and what does not. That is why we offer a five-year aftercare service for all of our clients. Our hearing experiences may change over time, and we can adjust the hearing aids accordingly.
We pride ourselves on being able to create a good rapport with all of our clients, and we are only satisfied when we have maximised their hearing.