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How Are Hearing Aids Programmed?
Hearing aids have come a long way over the years. Since the inception of the digital hearing aids, it has become possible to add all kinds of new features ranging from volume control to Bluetooth technology. Most modern hearing aids are essentially smart devices with all kinds of features programmed into them. But just how are these features programmed into a hearing aid?
What Does Hearing Aid Programming Involve?
Hearing aid programming involves customising the capabilities of a hearing aid, including the extent to which it amplifies certain frequencies. Every hearing aid is programmed differently to meet an individual’s unique needs.
This programming is done using dedicated hardware and specialist software. Using data collected from a hearing test, it’s possible to work out exactly how your hearing is affected and adjust your device accordingly. Extra features can also be programmed into your device, which may depend on your lifestyle needs.
Can I Program My Hearing Aids Myself?
Hearing aid programming is typically carried out by a hearing instrument specialist. It is not recommended that you try to program your hearing aid yourself. There are a few different reasons for this.
Firstly, hearing aid programming involves using specialist tools. Not using the right tools or using them incorrectly could result in your hearing aid getting damaged or becoming unusable. A hearing instrument specialist will know exactly which software to use and how to use it.
Secondly, you need to understand how hearing loss works to programme a hearing aid. A hearing aid prescription is not just a case of turning up or down a single volume knob. It involves measuring a whole range of frequencies and adjusting the volume of each one to get the right level of sound input. And then there are conditions like tinnitus, which require completely different programming to general hearing loss.
Today’s increasingly expansive features make it even harder to accurately programme a hearing aid without training. In other words, unless you are a hearing instrument specialist yourself, it’s better to leave it to an expert.
What Types of Features Can be Programmed into Hearing Aids?
A range of features can be programmed into modern hearing aids. Some of the features you may want to explore include:
- Automatic volume control
- Background noise reduction
- Feedback reduction
- Gain control
- Bluetooth connection
Certain features may only be able to be programmed into certain types of hearing aid. A hearing instrument specialist will be able to guide you through these features.
Beyond these programmable features, there are so many other hardware features to consider when choosing a hearing aid. For example, what style of hearing aid will you choose? Will it sit in the ear or behind the ear? What manual controls will it have? Again, a hearing instrument specialist will be able to help you with all of this.
Is it Time I Got a New Hearing Aid?
If you’ve never had a hearing aid before and you’re experiencing symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus, it could be worth getting a hearing evaluation. If it turns out that you do have hearing loss, you can then be given the right hearing aid prescription. A hearing instrument specialist will be able to help you with the whole process from carrying out a hearing test to programming your hearing aid. Programming your hearing aid correctly the first time is very important as it will affect how easily you are able to adjust to wearing a hearing aid.
If you already use a hearing aid but feel that it is no longer providing you with a good enough level of hearing, it could be a sign that you need to get your hearing aid reprogrammed. In most cases, you can continue using the same hearing aid and simply retune it. However, if your hearing aid is quite old or you simply want to explore new types of hearing aid, you can always choose a new hearing aid.
A hearing instrument specialist will be able to program this new hearing aid for you to meet your hearing needs. Different types of hearing aid often require different methods of programming.
At the Niagara Hearing and Speech Clinic, we have a team of highly qualified hearing instrument specialists who can help you select the right hearing aid and programme your hearing aid for you. Call us today on (855) 797-8002 today to schedule your appointment with us.