For many seeking improved hearing, the prospect of a hearing aid home visit can be both intriguing and confusing. “How does it differ from a clinic appointment?”, “Is it just as effective?”, “How is it performed?” To shed light on these questions, I’ve put together this article armed with insights directly from experienced audiologists on the procedure. Here’s what to know before you book a free hearing aid home visit.
As explained by an experienced audiologist I spoke with, hearing aid home visits aren’t different from what you get at the clinic as long as the procedure is concerned. However, there is a major advantage of the home hearing test which is that the patient is in the natural environment where they spend most of their day, so what this does is your audiologist programs your hearing aids to the sounds that you hear every day.
The thing with fitting hearing aids in the clinic is that after doing the hearing tests and the hearing aid programming in their quiet clinic, when the patient comes out of the clinic they go outdoors and find everything too loud and it takes an amount of time for their hearing aids to acclimatise to such loud environments. This is sometimes the same case when the hearing aids are programmed from the comforts of your home just that the difference in the frequency of sound isn’t as great as it would be in a quiet clinic environment.
At home, you’ll have the sound of the dishes clashing, the toilets flushing, the oven dinging and the chatters of loved ones. When your hearing aids are programmed in such environments it is not so overwhelming when you step out onto busy streets.
Now, let’s delve into the typical procedure of a hearing aid home visit:
First, your audiologist will check your ear canal for any blockage of wax and possible ear infection, if both cases are ruled out, he will then move ahead to perform a hearing test. But if there is a blockage of wax or an ear infection, your audiologist will discuss treatment and management options immediately.
Before your audiologist commences with programming your hearing aids, he will test your hearing again to standard as it is according to the British Society of Audiology (BSA) pure tone audiometry procedures which states that amongst many things, the ambient environment must have sounds less than 35 DBA as that is quite enough for a hearing test.
The results from the hearing test will be presented on a graph called an audiogram and your audiologist will explain it to you in an easily comprehensible manner. The audiogram will show your audiologist the degree of hearing loss you suffer from and will guide him on the proper hearing aids that would suit your kind of hearing loss.
Hearing aid selection and testing:
After all that is done, your audiologist will talk you through the different styles and fittings of hearing aids so you can make a choice based on your preferences. So when you make your choice, your audiologist programs then and there in your natural environment. He could start by turning on the TV to a certain volume to see how best you can hear at low and high volumes.
If you encounter difficulty hearing certain sounds during the testing, your audiologist will finetune it to fix whatever issue you encounter.
Following this, once the patient is satisfied with the testing and the audiologist has noticed a great improvement in their hearing, the audiologist would place an order for the hearing aid of choice and reprogramme it to your standards. And afterwards, discuss an aftercare plan that usually involves annual hearing tests and hearing aid finetuning.
In conclusion, hearing aid home visits offer a unique and effective approach to addressing hearing impairments. The ability to program hearing aids in the natural environment enhances the overall experience, minimizing the adjustment period commonly associated with clinic-based fittings. The comfort and convenience of home visits are undeniable, especially for individuals who find clinic visits challenging due to mobility issues or transportation limitations. Additionally, the personalized nature of the experience fosters a strong patient-audiologist relationship, leading to better understanding and tailored solutions.