We regard your hearing aid journey as the collaboration between two experts:
You are the expert on hearing loss and living with hearing loss and we are experts at managing hearing loss and providing solutions for the problems associated with your hearing loss.
Beacon Audiology offer a comprehensive hearing aid assessment. We have extensive experience in selecting, fitting and managing the best hearing aid for each individual patient. Beacon Audiology provide a wide range of hearing aid types to suit your particular hearing loss, personal preference and life style.
Step 1: Recognition of a hearing loss
The very first step is the recognition of the fact that you have a hearing loss and have the desire to do something about it.
Step 2: Hearing Assessment
The next step in your journey is having a full diagnostic hearing assessment including an otoscopic examination where we examine your ear canal for any obvious signs of obstruction, wax or infection that may be contributing to your hearing loss, middle ear function testing (tympanometry), pure-tone air and bone conduction testing as well as speech audiometry including speech in noise testing. By performing a speech in noise test we can more accurately determine the right hearing aid for you and the features required. The results of the hearing assessment will give us information regarding the degree of your hearing loss, type of hearing loss, possible cause of your hearing loss as well as predicting hearing aid success. We will spend time talking with you about when and where you have difficulties with your hearing, and the type of lifestyle you lead, so we can get a thorough understanding of your listening needs, goals and expectations.
Step 3: Explanation of results and recommendations
The results of the hearing assessment are explained thoroughly and a joint discussion is held between yourself and the audiologist regarding appropriate recommendations for the type of hearing aid based on your individual hearing needs and requirements.
If we feel that you would benefit from using hearing aids we will talk to you about the most appropriate option for you from the full range of solutions available at Beacon Audiology. We will take the following factors into account:
- Technology. The right manufacturer and level of technology for your needs
- Style. The right style of device to be as discreet or invisible as possible while providing adequate benefit.
- Comfort. The most appropriate fitting for your ear canal shape
- Price. We have a range of prices to suit every budget.
Step 4: Hearing Aid Fitting
An appointment for your hearing aid fitting is made where the hearing aids are programmed so that they are set correctly for your individual hearing loss configuration The hearing aid fitting is verified with the Audioscan Verifit hearing aid verification system. This process is called 'Real Ear Measurement'
Research has shown that this is an essential step in the process of performing a successful and individual's hearing aid fitting. It is a method by which we can measure the performance of the hearing aid whilst it is actually in your ear. It takes the guess work out of fitting hearing aids and is much more effective than asking you ‘Now, how does that sound?’
First of all tiny probe microphones are placed in your ears, so that we can measure the exact levels of sound arriving at your eardrum. The output from the microphone is displayed on a screen for you to see. We then put in your hearing aids and play a series of calibrated signals such as speech and music. We can then see the exact level of sound being produced by the hearing aids in your ears and whether the hearing aid is adequately restoring audibility of sounds that you could not hear before.
Step 5: Using Your Hearing Aids
Follow up appointments are scheduled for two weeks and four after the first fitting session. During these sessions questions are answered, problems are solved and any additional adjustments are made.
It is a good idea to get used to your hearing aids in familiar and comfortable situations, such as watching television or speaking to family. Start by wearing them for short periods and gradually increase it. Initially you are going to hear everything and you may only now realise that the world is a noisy place! Initially these unwanted background noises will interfere with hearing speech, however as time goes on the brain will start to ignore the background noises and learn to focus on speech. This is called 'habituation'. We know that the brain can habituate for example, someone who moves onto a busy road will initially hear the cars. When asked 6 months later about living on a busy road, they will have learnt to not focus on it and hence not be aware of it anymore. The same applies to wearing hearing aids. Once you have got used to your hearing aids you can wear them all the time.
Step 6: Aftercare and Management
Continued management and regular follow up appointments are recommended where any additional problems can be addressed. Hearing aids are sophisticated instruments but it’s important to remember that they can go wrong from time to time. Also, your hearing can change over time and this needs to be taken into account.
That is why it is very important to have a reliable aftercare service when using hearing aids. At Beacon Audiology you can have total peace of mind, knowing that should anything go wrong with your hearing instruments we will take full responsibility to ensure they get repaired and back to you in working order as quickly as possible. We can even arrange for you to have a loan hearing aid whilst your aid is off for repair.
You can come in and see us for minor adjustments or ‘fine tuning’ any time you like for the lifetime of the instruments.
We will invite you to attend 6 monthly ‘check up’ appointments where we will check the hearing aids and make sure that they are working well for you.
Annual hearing assessments are recommended in order to determine whether or not you hearing has deteriorated. The new hearing test results are programmed into your hearing aids and this will ensure you continue to get maximum benefit from your hearing aids.