Bet you never knew just how much programming goes into your hearing aid. It’s a lot, and it’s all done with software. Your hearing aid should be custom made, matching your hearing loss needs and feeling comfortable within your ears. You can’t just buy a set of hearing aids off the rack without having them programmed, similar to the way you can’t buy generic lenses for your prescription glasses. This is why a hearing aid won’t benefit you without programming by a certified audiologist. So, no two hearing aids are the same because everyone has different needs. How your hearing aid is programmed depends on your personal comfort level.

Programming Hearing Aids

As part of the process, a surround sound system can actually simulate crowd noises to determine how they will achieve noise reduction. This is helpful because so many people with hearing aids say they work great when all is quiet but as soon as they are in a restaurant, or even at a train station, they have to work hard to compete with all that background noise. During the actual programming process, many doctors use a surround sound system to simulate real noise from the outside world and make adjustments based on real-time feedback. Many people learn to program their own hearing aids but the equipment can get expensive and the level of accuracy goes down. You should always have a qualified audiologist perform this important task for the ultimate in hearing health.

The process of programming a hearing aid requires the proper hardware, software and cables to connect to the hearing aid. Due to the incorporation of real ear measurements, visual mapping and environmental simulations, a hearing aid can be customized to the individual. Also used are real-ear probe microphones which can pick up on how much sound is reaching the eardrum so the doctor can be the most accurate in his programming.

Processing Time

Hundreds of elements can be fine tuned within digital hearing aids to accommodate the hearing needs of someone with hearing loss. Programming takes place as a result of a complete hearing evaluation with the user on his or her subjective preferences. Digital hearing aids are great because they can undergo troubleshooting. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and can be programmed via software, while older devices only required a screwdriver to make tweaks. It’s important to know that once a hearing aid is programmed, this doesn’t mean it can’t be adjusted again in the future. In fact, most people come back to their doctor with suggestions on how the device could work better or complaints about what the device can’t do for them. This is because the brain needs a bit of time to adjust to the new sounds emitted by the device, which can only be determined in certain listening environments. The device can then be tweaked as a result of those suggestions.

What Factors can be Adjusted?

Volume, frequency, levels of intensity, compression ratios, max power output, noise reduction and microphone parameters can all be adjusted. This ensures your hearing aid can be programmed exactly how you want it, all depending on the model type you have, along with the software contained within. If one setting is too sensitive to noise, it can be changed to accommodate the user’s comfort level, with background noise able to be filtered as well.

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