The Affordable Hearing Aid Center

How Are Hearing Aids Programmed?

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

Hearing aids are small electronic devices that are programmed so that the user can hear the world around them more efficiently. But, because every person is different, the needs of their hearing aids will be different too. But how are they programmed so that you can get the best experience out of them?

What Is a Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is a small device that fits inside your ear and helps to enhance the noise around you if you have developed hearing loss. However, they can only help if you have some level of hearing so it is important you do not put off seeking advice if you feel that you are having some hearing issues. There are many benefits to wearing a hearing aid if you need one. These can include: 

  • Help you to hear every day sounds such as your doorbell or your phone ringing.
  • Help you to hear other people talking.
  • Can help you to feel more confident about talking to people when you are out in different environments.
  • Allow you to enjoy your TV shows and music at a volume that is comfortable for the people around you.

These small devices deliver sound to you through a three-part system that ensures that you can hear the sounds around and provide a more enjoyable daily experience.

Why Does a Hearing Aid Need to Be Programmed?

If you are discovered that you are developing some hearing loss and a hearing aid has been recommended, your hearing aid will need to be programmed. This is because your circumstances are different from everyone else’s. Your hearing loss is unique to you and should be treated accordingly.

There have been many cases where people have complained about their hearing aids as they feel that they are not working. Most of the time, they have played with them, or a well-meaning family member has tried to help them and the end result has been the hearing aids need to be calibrated. If you discover that your hearing aid is not working as well as it used to, it may need to be recalibrated.

How Is a Hearing Aid Programmed?

No two hearing aids are the same and the process of calibration allows the user to get the best experience out of the device. Each device is programmed to the user's needs using a complex feedback system. The information is fed into a computer program and creates an algorithm to suit your needs.

It is the audiologist’s job to work alongside you to troubleshoot any issues and ensure that it is set up as it should be. This can be a complex process as information is constantly fed into the computer and feedback is taken. There are a lot of factors that are taken into consideration when your hearing aid is being programmed and these can include:

  • The software in the hearing aid: Every hearing aid is a small electrical device and each one is filled with software to make it work. This software is programmed and adjusted according to the needs of the user.
  • Intensity levels: This is the energy level of sound that flows through the device
  • Compression ratios: This is the change of decibels that the user hears with the device
  • Max power output: The electric power
  • Noise reduction: The device might be for hearing better, but it doesn’t mean that you have to hear everything, especially the wind rushing by your ears.
  • Microphone parameters: Everything to do with receiving the sound before it is processed in the device

It is important not to rush this process as it may cause other issues. It is also important to ensure that there is no feedback noise in the hearing aid. This used to be a major problem with hearing aids, but technology has advanced a lot. Feedback can occur but this is usually a sign of a fault or the device needs to be recalibrated. 

Can I Program My Hearing Aid Myself?

In short, no. It might be tempting to have a fiddle with it or let a friend have a look at it if you think there is an issue. But there is no way to know what you are doing. There is a lot of equipment that is used during the process, and you will not get the desired outcome without it.

As we have stated, the process of programming and calibrating a hearing aid is a complex one and should not be attempted at home. If you believe there is an issue, contact your local hearing center to see if they can help you adjust it accordingly.

To learn more about New Hartford Hearing Center, call us today at 315-801-2991. Our friendly staff are ready to discuss your hearing needs.