Hearing instruments of yesteryear were adjusted using a screwdriver. Adjustments could be made for volume and bass/treble. Today, many digital hearing devices have hundreds of parameters that can be adjusted to more accurately accommodate the patient’s hearing needs. The hearing systems come from the manufacturer un-programmed. We perform all programming in front of the patient, according to their hearing evaluation results and subjective preferences. When a hearing system is purchased, all programming and follow-up appointments are included in the cost. It is usually necessary to make several adjustments after the individual has worn the new hearing system for a period of time – after the brain adjusts to the new sounds and the individual has been in a variety of listening situations.
Everyone’s ear is shaped differently, which affects the way sound reaches the eardrum. For example, a 6’6″ man’s ear is much larger than a 5’1″ woman’s ear. If their hearing losses were identical, and identical hearing systems were programmed using the audiometric data only, the smaller woman would be receiving significantly more volume at certain frequencies than the man. We routinely utilize real-ear probe microphones to measure how much sound is actually reaching the eardrum. This permits us to program the hearing system to a much higher degree of accuracy when compared to facilities that do not incorporate real-ear measurements.