The initial consultation, or hearing test, is often the first step forward in understanding your levels of hearing. The assessment is non-invasive and many clients find it interesting and enjoyable.
Assessments begin with a discussion on your hearing and any impact it may have on your daily life. We will then conduct a variety of tests in a sound proof environment. These include:
The hearing test will take between 60 and 90 minutes. You are welcome to bring a friend or relative with you as it often helps to be able to discuss the results with someone afterwards. You will receive a personalised and detailed report explaining your hearing test results, the nature of your hearing loss and your hearing aid technology choices available.
Once you have chosen your hearing system, we will organise an appointment with you to be ‘fitted’. Each hearing system is programmed and tailored specifically to your hearing loss, lifestyle needs and listening preferences. We use the latest verification methods (real ear measurements and live speech mapping) to ensure we get the best results from your hearing aid.
Any technology recommended can be reprogrammed should there be further deterioration in hearing.
Did you know your ear canal is unique? And sound entering it will differ from person to person. This can result in a different listening experience for each individual, particularly if you use a hearing aid. A hearing aid will change the natural flow of sound through the ear canal meaning even the best hearing technology won’t be perfect without accounting for your anatomical variations.
With Real Ear Measurement and speech map technology used in our consulting rooms, we can make hugely valuable measurements in the ear canal when prescribing your hearing aid. Gone are the days of relying solely on your subjective feedback when programming hearing instruments.
In short, the scope for benefit with hearing technology in hearing systems is considerable, but even the best technology must be fitted correctly and verified to ensure it is doing what manufacturers claim and what your audiologist intends.
There are many unpredictable aspects of fitting a hearing instrument that cannot be ascertained using averages or formulas, including; size of ear canal, hearing aid position, mobility of the eardrum, type of hearing instrument, temperature within the ear canal.
Using a ‘Real Ear Measurement’ system (REM); little probe tube microphones can be gently inserted into the opening of the ear canal, alongside any hearing aid. They allow us to measure the exact level of output from your hearing instruments and take in to account all of the above. The speech map feature allows us to graphically demonstrate how the hearing aid is reacting to live speech. Importantly, it tells us just how much of the intended sound gets to the ear drum.
Combining the REM system with a 5.1 surround Sound system means we can recreate difficult ‘real world’ noise situations such as; a busy restaurant, motorway driving, and gabbling grandchildren.
These testing facilities allow us to assess and quantify how well you hear in these environments both with and without your hearing instruments.
The evaluation period gives you time to ensure the recommended hearing instrument is right for you. We confirm you are able to manage the style of hearing instrument and it is comfortable to wear. We ensure the technology is appropriate for your hearing loss and the chosen instrument is the “best fit” to meet your needs.
During the 45 day evaluation period, we will meet several times to fine tune the hearing instrument settings based on your experience and feedback. This ensures we match the solution to your lifestyle and ensure you receive maximum benefit.
We will demonstrate how to manage and clean the hearing solution, and be available to answer queries and solve any minor niggles which may occur.
During the evaluation, all consumables such as batteries or filters are free of charge. There is no obligation to purchase the hearing system. If you are sufficiently impressed with its capabilities and have experienced better hearing an invoice will be presented, if not you simply return the hearing system.
Normally, when you buy hearing aids you are also paying for all of your initial assessments, fitting fees and ongoing hearing tests and care, but we realise that paying for all of this is one go can sometimes be prohibitive. Also not all hearing aid users require the same level of aftercare meaning users end up paying for something they do not use. So we have introduced HearPlan.
HearPlan is a membership programme that spreads the cost of your hearing care, gives preferential pricing on new technology if you choose to upgrade your hearing aids, as well as offers on accessories.
For a monthly subscription of £25.00 for 1 aid or £40.00 for 2, you will receive all of the care and support you need to improve your hearing and also get £200.00 off the cost of each hearing instrument. The table to the right shows the key benefits offered with HearPlan. Alternatively you can choose not to take out a HearPlan membership and opt to ‘pay-as-you-go’ for future appointments.