Musicians Need to Protect Their Hearing!! By: Lisa D. Cahill, Ph.D., CCC-A
What to Expect from a Hearing Instrument Specialist
Instead of seeing an audiologist for every hearing appointment, many people will be referred to a hearing instrument specialist for the fitting of hearing aids or other hearing devices.
Hearing instrument specialists (also known at hearing aid specialists) help people to get the right hearing device for their needs. They have experience with many different types of hearing devices and will act as a guide to discussing your options and ordering the hearing aids or hearing device that is right for your particular needs.
Fitting for Hearing Aids
Hearing instrument specialists are experts at fitting hearing aids. For non-custom hearing aids, they will examine your ears closely to determine the size you need. If you will be getting custom hearing aids, they will create an earmold for creation of your hearing aids.
The specialist will also fit your new hearing aids right in their office, which includes testing to make sure the hearing aid is working properly for you. They are fully equipped to troubleshoot any problems you may be having with your hearing aids and will teach you how to use them and care for them properly.
If you have questions about certain brands of hearing aids, a hearing instrument specialist will be good to talk to. They are usually very knowledgeable about certain hearing aid brands because they work closely with hearing aid manufacturers to find the best products for their patients.
What Else Do Hearing Instrument Specialists Do?
Hearing instrument specialists don’t just fit people for hearing aids. They can also administer hearing tests and discuss the results with you, recommending a course of treatment for your hearing loss.
Hearing instrument specialists:
- Perform hearing examinations
- Collect your information, medical history, symptoms, and complaints
- Counsel you and your family on techniques to improve hearing
- Help with communication related to hearing loss
Your First Appointment
During your first appointment with a hearing instrument specialist, you will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire and will also be asked a series of questions related to your health, history, and symptoms.
After getting a full history and an understanding of what hearing problems you are experiencing, the specialist will probably want to perform some hearing evaluations and tests. After the tests, the results will be explained to you and you will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the recommended treatment plan.
If you will be getting hearing aids, you will spend time in the office discussing options, including style of hearing aid and what may or may not be in your price range. If you will be getting a custom fit, the specialist will take a mold of your ear so that hearing aids or hearing protection may be made especially for you.
You may walk out with the hearing protection or hearing aids you need that day, or you may need to come in for a second appointment to pick up your hearing aids and make sure they are working properly for you.
Your Hearing Specialist Team
One way to look at your hearing instrument specialist is as a part of your hearing specialist “team”. If you have mid to severe hearing loss, you will probably see a variety of specialist to treat and manage your condition.
If needed, the hearing instrument specialist will work closely with your audiologist, ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor), or other specialists to determine the right course of managing your hearing loss.