At the end of every hearing aid orientation, I remind the patient, “your hearing loss didn’t occur overnight, so it will take some time to adjust to the hearing aids. Your patience and persistence will be well worth it.”

Hearing aids alone are not going to be a complete solution for anyone’s hearing loss.  Auditory rehabilitation and readjustments are necessary on the journey to better hearing. This is a team effort, including us, you, your loved ones, and your doctors.

What We Expect From You – Your Brain Adjusting To Hearing The Real World:

  • Full-time hearing aid use
    • Hearing aids can only be helpful if you’re wearing them. At a minimum, devices must be worn 8 hours a day to have your brain start to adjust to hearing again. Every once in a while, I’ll have a patient say they “only wear the hearing aids when they’re needed” and wear the devices part-time. It’s important to understand that if hearing aids were recommended, then that means they are needed during all waking hours.
  • Attend 2-4 follow up visits during adjustment period and let us know how you’re doing: the good and the bad
    • We can only fix a problem if we know about it. Personally, I love it when a patient brings in a written list of all their observations, whether it’s related to the fit, the sound quality, or even something they’ve heard for the first time in a year. That way, we can go over the list in its entirety and then one by one address each item.
  • Participation in auditory training
    • Think of auditory training like physical therapy but for your communication. As part of your treatment plan, your audiologist will recommend at least one auditory training program. Depending on the program, it’s important to practice the exercises a few times a week. Auditory training can help build stamina for listening and sustained attention while help you become a more effective communicator.

What You Can Expect From Us – Adjusting Your Hearing Aids To The Real World:

  • Adjustments and counseling based on your observations in the real world
    • If it’s something that’s adjustable, it will be completed at your next appointment. If it’s related to you learning to hear again (such as hearing paper crumple more loudly than you remember), we’ll discuss the options and together come up with the best plan of care. If you have a concern that would be best solved with a hearing aid accessory, we will also discuss the pros and cons of adding that to your plan of care. Typically, we know the need for accessories from the functional hearing assessment, but every once in a while, something will come to light after the hearing aid fitting.
    • Depending on the hearing aid and your cell phone technology, we may even adjust your hearing aids remotely while you’re at home or at work so you can experience the changes in real-time.
  • Revisiting the hearing goals defined in your first visit
    • We want to ensure that your main goals for pursuing hearing health are being met to the best of our abilities. Throughout your hearing journey, we will revisit your primary hearing goals to see how they’re being met, as well as re-measuring your hearing healthcare questionnaires to ensure improvement and to address any potential shortcomings.
  • A personalized auditory training program based on your functional hearing assessment. Depending on your communication goals and results found during your first appointment,  your audiologist will recommend different programs ranging in intensity. Examples include: 5 Keys to Communication, Brain HQ, Amptify, etc.

If you have any questions about adjusting to hearing aids and auditory training, please call us at 256-319-4327 or submit a contact request, and one of our helpful team members will call you back shortly.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Sarah Kate Fisher

Dr. Sarah Kate Fisher was born and raised in Huntsville and received her bachelor’s from the University of Alabama and her doctorate from Auburn University.
    Basic Hearing Test

    A basic hearing test begins with an air conduction test. You will be seated in a soundproof booth and single-use, foam earphones will be inserted into your ear canals. The Audiologist will ask you to push a button or raise your hand when you barely hear a series of beeps (tones) presented at various frequencies (pitches) to obtain your air conduction thresholds.

    To determine whether your hearing loss is a conductive (mechanical) loss, sensorineural (permanent) loss or combination of the two, we perform a bone conduction test.  

    For this test, a head band is place on the bone behind one of the ears to obtain your bone conduction thresholds. This process provides a different form of sound transmission using vibration, which bypasses the eardrum and the middle ear bones and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. When you hear the beeps/tones, you will push a button or raise your hand.

    If bone conduction thresholds are better than air conduction thresholds (through the foam inserts), you have a conductive hearing loss. This suggests a problem with the mechanical structures (moving parts) of the ears.

    Conductive hearing loss is often a medically treatable condition for which we will provide you with a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physician. However, if bone and air conduction thresholds match, it indicates a sensorineural hearing loss (permanent), and the treatment will likely involve hearing aids.

    ALL INCLUSIVE PLAN

    $6,790

    Comprehensive 5-Year treatment plan with premium technology

    If you want premium “out of this world” technology and the highest level of service and expert support, our All-Inclusive treatment plan is the right investment for you.

    The All-Inclusive treatment plan offers long-term value for your on-the-go lifestyle, providing everything you need to connect with family and friends for years to come.

    Includes:

    • Stellar hearing devices from top manufacturer (rechargeable option available)

    • Wireless accessory included at no charge

    • Comprehensive Annual Visit including hearing assessment, hearing device adjustment, and 19-Point preventative maintenance valutaion

    • Bi-annual hearing aid software update and reprogramming

    • Same day diagnosis and in-office repair during weekdays for devices dropped off before 3:00 p.m.

    • 5-Year full-service repair warranty

    • Unlimited remote hearing aid adjustments

    • 100% moisture removal by Redux and cleaning

    • Hearing aid supplies (stock receivers, batteries, domes and filters)

    • $1000 contribution towards purchase of upgraded technology within 48 months

    • 3-Year replacement warranty for loss or damage (no deductible)

    • Dedicated team of hearing care experts at your service

    • Unlimited teleaudiology appointments

    • Access to our “speed of light” repair specialists

    Schedule Appointment

    Choose Your Level of Technology

    A Comprehensive12-Step Functional Hearing Assessment

    If you struggle to understand conversations in social situations, restaurants, or other noisy environments, you do not need to schedule a basic hearing test. You certainly don’t need to schedule a “free” hearing screening or online hearing test.

    You need to schedule a “Connect 365” Functional Hearing Assessment at Alabama Hearing Associates!

    Hearing Technology with a Methodical Plan

    Our community understands better than most what can be achieved when you combine technology with human intelligence and persistence. It is much the same with hearing technology.

    The latest hearing aid technology is incredibly powerful, offering stellar sound quality and performance. Wireless connections allow phone calls, music and television to stream directly to your hearing aids for exceptional clarity.

    But hearing aids do not fit and program themselves! For best outcomes, you also need the human touch and expertise provided by our Doctors of Audiology.

    How do I know my new hearing aids are working properly?

    Without verifying that the hearing aid is working correctly from the start, all of the other steps in the hearing aid fitting process are useless. The most sensitive quality control measure is something called Electroacoustic Analysis. We complete EAA on every new set of hearing aids, before delivery of repaired devices, and on an annual basis.

    What Is Real-Ear Measurement?

    Real-ear measurement (REM) is how an audiologist knows that hearing aids are working the way they should in each patient’s ears.

    Ears are as unique as a fingerprint. Because of this, every ear will collect sounds differently.

    Even if I had two patients with the exact same hearing loss and hearing aids, there’s almost no chance the hearing aids would be programmed the same way.

    Orientation, Counseling, and Follow-up

    Dr. Cliff (the creator of the Best Practice Pro Network) said it best:

    “Having a detailed orientation can dramatically improve how much success you have with hearing treatment.  Counseling & Follow-up care can also ensure that you have success for years to come.  Regular visits to a hearing care provider who spends the time to discuss treatment related information and who will maintain your devices is extremely important.”

    During the orientation, your provider will give you the tools you need to be a successful hearing aid user. Everyone has different learning styles and we want to make sure whatever works best for you is what’s used. After the 75 day adjustment period, routine checkups are necessary to maintain the hearing aids and to ensure optimal hearing healthcare. 

    Real World Adjustments

    Your hearing loss didn't occur overnight, so it will take some time to adjust to the hearing aids. Your patience and persistence will be well worth it.

    Wireless Connections

    Most hearing aids automatically come with wireless streaming from smartphones and it has been a lifesaver for those that are working remotely and spending hours on teleconferences. As for other wireless accessories, the two most popular solutions are a small microphone used in less-than-ideal listening environments and a TV streamer that streams the TV’s sound directly into your ears—which can be a lifesaver when watching British TV shows or during football season. If your audiologist believes they would be beneficial for you, they will discuss your options and demonstrate the device in the office.

    Assessing Outcomes

    To ensure the most success with your hearing devices, we measure the benefits of amplification at the end of your adjustment period—some of the surveys and tests included in the “Connect 365” Functional Hearing Assessment will be repeated to evaluate progress, quality of life, and patient satisfaction with the hearing aids.