Would you buy a television if the salesperson insisted that they would be the only one that could change the channel, adjust the volume, tone or brightness? Would you submit yourself to hour long appointments traveling back and forth to the T.V. store for the smallest adjustment? Then why do we surrender control in this way for our hearing aid sound adjustments?
With modern personal electronics, smartphones, automobile media centers, etc. we can reconfigure the sound beyond the default manufacturer settings to our heart’s content, yet as hearing aid wearers we have little control over them.
I would like explain to you the reasons why hearing aid wearers should program your own hearing aids.
First, I program my own hearing aids, so I speak from experience. Trust me, I am far happier with my own choices about my hearing aid sound settings than I ever could be if someone else did them for me.
Basically, hearing aid programming consists of two basic groupings:
1. Sound Settings: These settings affect how you hear – such as gain and frequency, including loud sound compression.
2. Operational Settings: These settings don’t necessarily affect the sound, but the physical operation of the hearing aid itself.
Here are a few reasons you might want to program your own hearing aids:
Financial. By avoiding multiple visits to the hearing care professional’s office, you save time and money.
Timeliness. Why tolerate bad sound while you wait for an appointment at the hearing aid office, making the desired sound changes is quick and easy.
Control. Answering the hearing care professional’s favorite question, “How does that sound?” is like trying to explain what an orange tastes like. You know exactly what you’re hearing; the hearing professional can only guess.
Curiosity. Wouldn’t it be nice to experiment a little with the sound settings to see how the sound could be adjusted and optimized just for you? Wouldn’t it be nice to explore the hearing aid software with or without the hearing aids being connected. Wearers who have explored the hearing aid fitting software will be better at taking advantage of all the features that the hearing aid and the hearing aid fitting software have to offer. If your hearing aid has “data logging”, you can see specifically how much time you spend wearing your heading aids in different sound environments, at what volume and using which program.
Real world. Sounds in a hearing care professional’s office don’t necessarily represent MY world. I can program my hearing aids based on my real world experiences, where my dog barks, my wife and grandchildren talk and scream, not that quiet little sales/testing/programming room at the hearing aid sales office.
If you have ever desired to take control of your hearing correction, are reasonably computer literate, experimental, and patient, learning to program your own hearing aids is for you.
Here is a link to an article that the BBC wrote of people adjusting their own hearing aids. Article Link Here.
Here is a link to HearSource’s Personal Programmable Hearing Aids.