It takes, on average, 7 years for an individual with significant hearing loss to get around to getting a hearing aid for the first time. During these years, the individual’s brain adapts to not hearing well. Hearing can be thought of as a muscle which becomes weak if not exercised.
A proper hearing instrument fitting process can be thought of as ‘physiotherapy for the ear’ – Audiologists call this process aural rehabilitation. A diagnostic audiological evaluation is an essential first step in the process.
If a hearing aid trial is chosen, it must be appropriately selected, programmed, verified and validated over a 2-3 month trial period. During this time period, the brain gradually begins to learn to hear the sounds that it has been missing. The instrument must be adjusted in a gradual way to suit personal preference. Like any muscle, some choose to exercise gently, others prefer a more vigorous workout!
When a hearing instrument is purchased at our clinic, we include our services for life. We believe this is important because aural rehab is usually not completed over 2-3 months. In many cases the auditory system is strengthened over a period of years. In addition, hearing may change over time and these changes must be accounted for in the programming.