The first step in the process is to match your lifestyle, listening needs, and hearing concerns with the right technology. Technology has advanced rapidly in this area and there are many different types of systems available.
What are my listening goals?
You will work together with your audiologist to determine your specific listening needs. You may be asked to provide specific situations where you want improved communication. Examples may include:
- Listening to soft voices like women or children
- Listening while at a noisy gathering
- Hearing better on the telephone
Which hearing device is best for me?
Your audiologist will recommend hearing aid features based on your listening goals and your hearing test (audiogram). In some cases, you may be able to listen to specific hearing devices at the appointment. We work with more than ten excellent hearing device manufacturers, each with a comprehensive product line. Hearing aids range in retail price from approximately $1,000-$3,000 each. Our goal is to find a device with features you need and desire, in a case design you will enjoy wearing, at a price you can afford.
Our devices may have many desirable features:
- Digital signal processing
- Miniature case design for more invisible fittings
- Open fittings, which allow more comfort and natural sound
- Feedback cancellation
- Directional microphones and noise reduction
- Multiple memory devices for different listening situations
- Automatic memory switching based on the listening environment
- Bluetooth connectivity to cellular phones and iPods
- Aids that “talk to each other” enabling a volume adjustment or program change in one aid to automatically change the other aid
How do you set the device for me?
We start with programming the device using your hearing loss thresholds and a prescriptive fitting technique based on decades of research. Then, you and your audiologist work together to fine tune the fitting to your listening preferences. Since no ear is the same, we then use state-of-the-art technology and a “Speechmap” to measure exactly how YOUR hearing aid amplifies actual speech in YOUR ear. This enables us to know that your hearing aid is providing enough volume to make soft speech audible, average speech comfortable and loud speech tolerable. We will also check the ceiling of the hearing aid to make sure that very loud sounds will not cause discomfort.
Now that I have the device at home, how do I use it?
During the hearing aid fitting, you are instructed in the operation, care, and maintenance of your hearing aids. You will have plenty of time to ask questions. During your 30-day adjustment period, we want you to wear the hearing aids at home, at work, and during social activities.
What if it doesn’t sound right when I get it home?
There are some sounds that will sound new to you and you will adjust to them over time. However, if programming adjustments are necessary, another visit is scheduled. At the end of the adjustment period, if you decide you want to try a different device that will be arranged.
All hearing aids purchased at Boys Town National Research Hospital come with a 2-year manufacturer's warranty and free hearing-aid related services at the hospital for two years.
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Fitting for Children
It is important to fit children with hearing aids as soon as possible after a hearing loss is diagnosed. Several audiologists at Boys Town National Research Hospital specialize in serving young children with hearing loss. As more information is received about the diagnosis and medical clearance is received, hearing aid evaluations and recommendations can be made to fit your child's unique needs and lifestyle. Read more about
selecting hearing aids for infants and children.