Hearing loss can be a frustrating and isolating experience, but with the right hearing aid and a trustworthy hearing professional, you can regain confidence and independence in your daily life. With the right support and guidance, you can take control of your hearing and improve your quality of life.
South County Hearing Services uses Best Practices to offer comprehensive hearing aid services, which ensures that you receive the best hearing solutions possible. From hearing aid selection to hearing aid repairs, consider our clinic as your comprehensive provider for your hearing concerns.
Your journey will start with a conversation about your medical history, concerns, and needs followed by a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
We encourage you to bring a family member or friend to this appointment. (You are invited to bring anyone that you communicate with often.) We feel this is important because not only does your hearing ability affect those around you, but we also review quite a bit of information and it is helpful to have a trusted person to also hear the information.
A comprehensive hearing evaluation is necessary to assess an individual’s ability to hear and ability to understand speech. Our hearing evaluations are never rushed, as we believe in taking the time to evaluate all aspects of your hearing system.
Each hearing evaluation is conducted in a calibrated sound-treated booth to ensure accurate results. We review results and make clear recommendations.
If your hearing evaluation shows a medical condition that needs further evaluation a recommendation to other medical professionals will be made.
If your hearing test reveals permanent hearing loss, a hearing aid may be recommended for one or both ears.
Steps of the hearing evaluation:
- Complete a medical case history
- Examine the ears (otoscopy) to ensure clear canals and healthy eardrums.
- Conduct pure tone testing (air and bone) – to determine the softest sounds a person can detect
- Conduct speech testing – to assess word understanding in quiet and noise
- Administer tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing and otoacoustic emissions testing, as needed
- Review results and answer questions
- Discuss recommendations and next steps
- Refer patient to another specialist (ex: ENT, Neurologist) if needed
Hearing Aid Consultation & Selection
During this appointment, your hearing professional will explain what sounds you are not hearing and what a hearing aid(s) can do to help. You will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In most cases, you will be able to listen to a hearing aid.
You and your hearing professional will work together to choose the best hearing aid style, features, and level of technology based on your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, and financial circumstances. The final decision on which hearing aid is purchased is always your choice.
Once you make a decision, the hearing professional may take impressions of your ears if you selected custom hearing aids or behind-the-ear hearing aids that require earmolds. We don’t typically carry stock, therefore hearing aids need to be ordered from a manufacturer.
The time between ordering and your fitting appointment is typically anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. If you order a custom-fit hearing aid or an earmold, it will take two weeks for it to come into the office.
Hearing Aid Fitting
After your hearing aid consultation and when the hearing aids that you selected arrive, your hearing professional will program them based on a prescription, to meet your hearing needs. We ensure the devices are meeting your hearing needs using an objective verification measure called Real Ear Measurement.
One of our goals for this appointment is that you leave hearing better than when you walked in but that sound is not crashing down around your head.
After determining the target settings for your devices, we will turn them down to a comfortable setting. Over time the devices will gradually and automatically progress up to the target settings, all you have to do is wear them. This gradual adjustment technique allows your brain to adjust and recalibrate to hearing in a gentle and gradual manner.
During this appointment your hearing professional will explain how to use the devices, put them on and remove them, how to change/charge the batteries, and how to clean the devices. We review quite a bit of information and bringing a family member or friend who can help support you is a great idea.
It is important to work with a qualified audiologist and hearing instrument specialist who will take the time to properly fit your hearing aid, as a poorly fitting hearing aid can result in decreased satisfaction and a negative impact on your hearing. A good-fitting hearing aid can provide improved hearing, better speech understanding, and improved quality of life.
South County Hearing Services has a team of experienced hearing professionals who can provide accurate hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings to ensure that you get the best hearing improvement you deserve.
Hearing Aid Repairs
We understand how valuable your hearing aids are! The hearing care professionals at South County Hearing Services are skilled and trained to provide professional hearing aid repairs. Many times we can perform repairs on the same day. If your hearing instrument needs to be sent out for repair we will provide you with a loaner device.
We also offer electroacoustic evaluation, a process that connects your hearing aid to a computer so we can thoroughly check its performance. From this evaluation, we can easily pinpoint any problems or issues with your device.
Follow-Up And Maintenance
Follow-up and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of hearing aids.
Regular maintenance and follow-up appointments with your hearing professional can help to identify and address any issues early, ensuring your hearing aids are always functioning at their best.
Hearing Aid Programming And Adjustments
For a hearing aid to be truly effective, appropriate hearing aid programming and adjustments must be applied. A hearing care professional will program the hearing aids to match the hearing requirements of each patient. We ensure the devices are meeting your hearing needs using an objective verification measure called Real Ear Measurement.
This includes fine-tuning the device’s settings such as volume control, noise reduction, frequency response, etc. The main purpose of hearing aid programming and adjustment is to ensure that the hearing aid provides the user with the best possible listening improvement through excellent sound quality, comfort, and effectiveness.
Hearing aid programming and adjustments can also boost speech understanding, and management of background noise and enhance overall listening experiences.
Remember, hearing aids should not merely amplify sounds. When hearing aids are properly fitted and programmed, they can help users understand speech in various listening circumstances, resulting in an overall improved listening experience.
Real Ear Measurements
Real Ear Measurements (REM) are a crucial part of the hearing aid fitting process. During a REM, your hearing professional places a small microphone in the ear canal of the person being fitted for a hearing aid.
The microphone measures the sound that is actually reaching the person’s eardrum, compared to the sound that is being produced by the hearing aid. This allows your hearing professional to determine the true effectiveness of the hearing aid and make any necessary adjustments to improve its performance.
Why is a real ear measurement important?
Real ear measurements are essential because they help to determine if the hearing aid is providing the correct amplification for the person’s specific hearing loss. If REM is not used to verify the settings then the hearing professional is relying on the manufacturer’s programming recommendations and just hoping the hearing aid is actually giving you what you need.
Real ear verification can also be performed regularly to monitor the effectiveness of the hearing aid over time and make any necessary updates to the device’s programming.
Hearing Aid Services at South County Hearing
Better communication starts with good hearing. If you’re looking for a reliable hearing aid service center in Narragansett, RI, our doors are open!
South County Hearing Services offers a wide range of hearing aid services at your convenience.
Contact us today to book an appointment!