Hearing Aid Programming
Hearing aids are selected and programmed according to the degree and type of hearing loss you have, lifestyle and personal preference.
Ear shapes differ, affecting how sound reaches the eardrum. Hence, hearing aid programming includes certain real-ear measurements to provide a perfect fit. A special probe fitted with a microphone is inserted into the ear to evaluate the amount of sound reaching the eardrum. Visible speech mapping (VSM) is another form of real-ear measurement, which evaluates the sounds of speech that reach the eardrum.
With digital programming, your doctor can configure and fine tune volume, base/treble and various other factors that help in producing clear sounds. Further adjustments are made after the aids have been worn for a period and exposed to different listening situations, and your brain adapts to new sounds. Everyday noisy situations may be artificially simulated in the office to see how well your hearing aids adjust to these conditions.
When compared to adults, programming hearing aids for children can be challenging as they are too young to cooperate with regular hearing evaluations which rely on their judgment and responses. Early detection of hearing loss and fitting of hearing aids is very important in children as they develop speech and language through hearing. The probe microphone evaluation is also useful in children as it does not require a response. It measures how much sound reaches the ear so that volume may be accurately adjusted, preventing damage to the ear. The main aim of programming hearing aids in infants and young children is to make speech audible enough.