Every day, as we go about our usual routines and activities, we are exposed to environmental noise. For people without a hearing impairment, their hearing naturally adapts to the unique sound dynamics of each environment. However, for those who suffer from hearing loss, adapting to each sound environment can be more difficult. By programming your hearing aids to meet the demands of your lifestyle, you can navigate more confidently the different listening environments.
Although everyone's daily routine varies, you are likely to experience more listening environments than you realise in one day. In a noisy coffee shop, in a crowded supermarket or even during noisy dinnertime conversations, your hearing must adapt quickly to allow you to navigate and participate in your world. Seeing as new and noisy environments are unavoidable, programming your multi-channel hearing aids according to your lifestyle will allow you to navigate any unpredictable noise-related situations more comfortably and stay engaged.
To understand hearing aid programming, it is important to also understand how hearing aids work. Each type of hearing aid has its own function and style, but its main task is to enhance sounds to compensate for hearing loss: directional microphones pick up conversations in noisy environments, amplifiers amplify sounds from the digital signal processor and receivers send enhanced prescriptive sounds into the ear canal.
That being said, today's hearing aids are more than just basic amplifiers, which are a completely different product. Hearing aids contain complex and articulated digital functions that process sound in a way that enables more natural and comfortable listening. The programming of hearing aids enables comfortable listening no matter where you are.
Hearing aid programmes offer something similar to preset buttons. Instead of using the volume function of hearing aids to try to adapt to a new sound environment, you can switch from one listening setting to another. Each setting is designed specifically for your hearing loss and will take into account factors such as wind, car noise and more. Thanks to this type of programing, the sound emitted by the hearing aid is not only amplified, but also specialised. Depending on the type of hearing aid, there are a different number of programmable channels which can be enabled in different ways.
To begin the programming process, your hearing care professional will rely on several computer and algorithm-based tests to align your hearing aids with your hearing needs. The first step is to undergo a thorough evaluation by an Amplifon expert to determine your degree of hearing loss and whether you may benefit from hearing aids.
The assessment involves a combination of listening tests to check your ability to hear a range of different sounds and to understand everyday speech. The results of the tests will become the hearing 'prescription' which the programme will be based on, customising the sounds in your world to your specific hearing needs.
These tests can be useful for the hearing care professional to have a basic understanding of your hearing, but they are by no means the only metrics available to test your hearing. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss and specific lifestyle considerations, you may undergo more specialised tests.
To find the right settings, the hearing care professional will calibrate the devices to minimise unwanted noise and enhance the desired sounds. Unwanted environmental noises, such as traffic, crowds and the background sounds of everyday life, are adjusted so that they do not overpower the sounds you want to hear, such as voices, music or notifications.
The hearing care professional can also adjust specific functions such as hearing aid volume, loudness levels, maximum output power, sound compression ratio and more. By calibrating these functions, enjoying your favourite activities will be even easier. Whether you are a music lover, a fan of the outdoors or a traveller, there are programmes that can minimise unwanted external sounds to help you enjoy these activities without interruption.
Hearing aids are an excellent solution for managing hearing loss, but this does not mean that the adaptation is immediate. It is quite normal that you and your brain, where sound is processed, experience a learning curve as your hearing adapts to life with hearing aids. As you settle back into a world of full of sounds, the most important thing to keep in mind is patience.
Keep in mind that you can count on your Amplifon hearing care professional to help you through this process as they are there to support you and set you up for success. Even though hearing aids are programmed to fit your life, it will take some time to feel comfortable and find the perfect adjustments. However, if the problem persists or if you continue to have hearing problems, make an appointment at your local Amplifon centre to have your hearing aids readjusted.
The journey to better hearing does not end once you receive the programmed hearing aids. Taking care of your hearing health and your hearing aids is an ongoing process and Amplifon is here to support you every step of the way. The best way to keep up with your hearing aid needs is to ensure regular cleaning and maintenance of your devices. After your first visit with your hearing care professional, make regular appointments with Amplifon for tune-ups and adjustments. These appointments are useful not only to assess the condition of your hearing aids and perform routine maintenance, but to work with a hearing care professional to make any necessary adjustments to your programmes.
Even with hearing aids, hearing and lifestyle can change and hearing aid adjustments allow you to continue to get the most out of your hearing health investment. If you experience unexpected changes in your hearing before your appointment and you wish to have your hearing aid reprogrammed, the answer is yes! Amplifon's advantage is its free lifetime support and after-sales service. So, feel free to make an appointment at any time and take advantage of the hearing aid programming services. Your hearing care professional will guide you through tests similar to those performed during your first visit to understand how your hearing may have changed and recalibrate your hearing aids to meet your new needs.
Whether you have just had your first visit with your specialist or are between appointments, keep in mind that hearing aid programming is a very technical process that can only be performed with the help of a licensed hearing care professional. You may be tempted to search online "how to programme hearing aids" to try to adjust your hearing aids yourself, but this is a task that needs to be done by professionals. Your devices cannot be programmed at home, and attempting to do so can lead to costly damage and interrupt existing programmes. Today's devices are not self-programmable; you must rely on Amplifon's lifetime services and after-sales support to make any changes.
If you are curious about how programmable hearing aids can make a difference for you or if you would like to upgrade the your existing hearing aids, book an appointment at your local Amplifon centre to meet with a hearing care professional!