Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Having a hearing device fitted

Your service provider will talk you through the results of your hearing test. If you have a hearing loss, they will discuss the options available to you, which might include monitoring your hearing over time or recommending a hearing device for you. This will depend on your hearing loss, your motivation to use a hearing device, your lifestyle, and your health.

If you choose to have a hearing device fitted, it is important to work with your service provider, and discuss with them how your hearing loss affects your life and what you would like to hear better. This will help your service provider work with you to identify realistic and achievable goals, and recommend hearing devices.

A lot of information is covered at the hearing device fitting appointment, so it is helpful to bring along a friend or family member with you, or make a list of the questions you would like answered.

Before the fitting appointment

If your service provider identifies that a hearing device is appropriate for you, you will be recommended a device (or devices).

In this case, you will be given a recommendation for a fully subsidised hearing device, and may also be offered the option of purchasing a partially subsidised hearing device.

There is a wide range of fully subsidised digital hearing devices available under the program, made by leading manufacturers. These hearing devices contain a range of beneficial features to help you manage your hearing loss.

Partially subsidised hearing devices may have additional technological features, to suit individual lifestyle choices. If you choose a partially subsidised device, the program contributes the amount that would have been paid for a fully subsidised hearing device to your service provider, and you pay the additional amount quoted for the hearing device (i.e. the “gap”).

Hearing devices will generally need to be ordered for you from the manufacturer. Your service provider may take an impression of your ear, using a paste, to make a mould of your ear and ear canal so the manufacturer can design a hearing device to better fit you.

What should I expect at the fitting appointment?

Your service provider will program your hearing device using a computer, to adjust it correctly for your hearing loss and the unique shape of your ear. Your  service provider will make sure the hearing device is comfortable to wear, that sudden or loud sounds aren’t painful, and that your own voice sounds pleasant or tolerable (this will improve over time). They will show you how to manage the controls of the device, place it in your ear, clean the device and change the batteries.

What will my hearing device sound like?

Hearing loss often develops over a long time and because of this people can forget how certain things normally sound. Wearing a hearing device for the first time can sound strange to begin with and at times even overwhelming. You will notice the sounds you are listening to are different and will find you can hear every day sounds you haven’t heard for a while, like the sound of your feet on the carpet or the kettle boiling. You may have been hearing the world differently to the people around you for some time and it will take time to get used to these new sounds.

Your own voice will sound different. Your service provider may be able to adjust your device to help, but adjusting to the sound of your voice is something you will need to work on to get used to.

Your service provider will talk with with you about how to get used to these new sounds and the physical feeling of your hearing device. You will adjust to the sound and feeling of your new devices, over time. The more you wear your hearing device the simpler it is to get used to, however, to start off your service provider may recommend you only wear the device for short periods and gradually increase your usage.

In the long run, using your hearing device consistently will make it easier to get used to the sounds around you and will help your service provider resolve any concerns you might have. Tell your service provider about sounds that are painfully or uncomfortably loud or any physical discomfort you have when wearing your hearing device.

What happens next?

Follow up appointment

A follow up appointment will be made to check how you are progressing with your hearing device. This appointment is made shortly after your fitting. At this appointment, your service provider will check how the hearing device has helped you and if any adjustments need to be made. You can clear up any questions you may have about using your hearing device or how it sounds, and how to manage your hearing devices (such as cleaning your device or changing the batteries). Your service provider will offer you an annual maintenance agreement, where you can access batteries, repairs and services for a small annual contribution.

After the follow-up appointment

You may find that you need more appointments with your service provider, to make adjustments to your hearing devices and talk about any issues you have noticed or questions you have. Fitting hearing devices can be a complex process, and for newly fitted devices it is normal that you might need several appointments to come to the right fit, particularly as you start to get used to them. Contact your service provider to make an appointment when needed.

In the long term

Talk with your service provider about how often your hearing devices should be brought in for a clean and check, so that your devices remain in good condition.

You should make an appointment with your service provider once a year for a review of your hearing loss and hearing devices. You can also ask them about renewing your annual maintenance agreement. This helps your service provider to work with you on any issues that may have arisen, and adjust your hearing devices if needed (particularly if your hearing has changed).

What should I make sure I know about my hearing device?

Make an appointment to talk to your service provider if you are unsure about any of the following

  • Cleaning your device and changing the batteries, or putting the device into your ear
  • How to store your hearing device when you are not wearing it, and manage moisture in your device or ear mould
  • How often you should have your device cleaned and serviced, and where to get batteries
  • How to troubleshoot any technical problems with your hearing device, and how to spot when you need to bring your device in for a service
  • Adjusting the volume control or the program button
  • Using the directional microphone in your hearing device (if it has one)
  • Using the telecoil in your hearing device (if it has one)
  • Communication strategies you can use (along with your hearing device) to better hear and understand the people around you.

 

Having a hearing device fitted (PDF 73 KB)

Fully or partially subsidised hearing devices

Maintenance Agreement

How to make the most of your hearing device

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