New Patients

If you have never had a hearing aid fitted before, you will normally need to attend for three appointments. If you were referred by ENT (your hospital doctor), the items marked with an asterix (*) may have already been carried out by your doctor. In this case, they will probably not need to be repeated by the audiologist.

1. First Assessment Visit (at least 45 min)

This appointment is to check your hearing, and to decide which hearing aid is likely to help you the most. A mould of your ear taken at this appointment will be used to make your hearing aid.

At your first visit, the audiologist will:

  • *Take a medical history, including information about your vision and any problems you may have using your hands. This is important to make sure you are given a hearing aid that you will be able to use at home.
  • Ask you some questions about how well you can hear in certain situations such as in a busy street, or hearing the television. You will also be asked if there are any other particular situations in which it is important for you to hear clearly.
  • *Carry out otoscopy, to look for wax, blockages, or any problems with your ear canal or ear drum which need to be taken into account when fitting an aid.
  • *Test your hearing in a sound proofed room. This involves listening to sounds through a set of headphones. [Link for RNID factsheet].
  • Talk to you about hearing aids, how you feel about wearing one, and what you expect from it.
  • Discuss with you the types of hearing aid that are available, and agree on a particular model.
  • Take an impression of your ear. This involves putting a foam block in your ear canal, then putting some putty in using a special syringe. The material takes about 5 minutes to set. This mould will be used to make the in-ear part of your new hearing aid.
  • Give you an information leaflet about digital hearing aids.
  • Book your next appointment. This will usually be in 4-6 weeks.

During the assessment, the audiologist will enter the results of your appointment directly into the computer.

Fitting Appointment (at least 45 min)

This appointment is to fit your hearing aid and to teach you how to use it.

You can expect the audiologist to:

  • Insert the earmould into your ear, and trim the tube to the correct length.
  • Check that the earmould is comfortable and can be inserted/removed easily. If it is too tight or uncomfortable in places, the audiologist can modify it using various tools.
  • Perform a ‘real ear measurement’ to check that the aid is working correctly. The audiologist will put a narrow tube down your ear canal, which can tickle, but should not hurt. She or he will then play some sounds through a loudspeaker, and measure the sound in your ear both without and with your new hearing aid in place. This makes sure that the hearing aid is amplifying sounds correctly for your hearing loss and your ear.
  • Ask you how things sound, and make any necessary adjustments to the aid.
  • Teach you how to do the following:
    o Change the battery
    o Operate the controls
    o Insert and remove the aid
    o Use loop systems where available. Your audiologist will explain this to you, but more information is available [Link to RNID factsheet on loop systems]
    o Take care of your hearing aid
  • Give you advice on using your hearing aid and getting used to it, including written information.
  • Book your next appointment for 8-12 weeks.

Follow up at 8-12 weeks (at least 30 min)

The aim of this appointment is to find out how you are getting on with your hearing aid, and to make any adjustments that may be needed. To get the best from this appointment, it is important that you have tried your hearing aid in as many situations as possible. It may help to take along notes of any problem situations or any questions you may want to ask.

You can expect the audiologist to:

  • Ask you how things are going generally.
  • Ask some specific questions about how much benefit you are finding from the hearing aid in certain situations.
  • Ask if you are having any problems with the following:
    o insertion
    o comfort
    o sound quality
    o adequacy of loudness
    o loudness discomfort
    o noise intrusiveness
    o telephone use
    o battery life
    o cleaning
  • Check use of loop system and any special features your hearing aid may have.
  • Make any adjustments to the hearing aid that may be required.
  • Tell you if they think another appointment is needed.