Full Capacity Programming

One of the most unusual ways I met a client for reprogramming their hearing aid was at my Rotary meeting. He was visiting from Germany. I noticed he wore a manufacturer that I work with frequently, Phonak. This model is a higher end with a wide range of programming options. I saw him struggle to hear the presentation that was going on that day in Rotary. I spoke with him after our meeting and he said he has trouble hearing in restaurants, meetings, and hearing his wife. I groaned at the last one. Not listening to my wife, Karen, has gotten me into trouble over the years.

The next day he came into the office. I read out his hearing aids and was stunned to find out that his dispenser had only used one program. This is a very active man. He travels the world, attends meetings, eats out regularly and socializes with family and friends. He is wearing the top of the line model and not using all the abilities of his hearing aid. I taught him the full capacity of his hearing aids and established programs for his variety of situations. I also set a program that prioritized his wife’s voice to use when they are at home together or in the car. This was their favorite setting.

Some common complaints are: “I sound as if I am in barrel”, “everything is muffled” or “it sounds tinny.” These sound irritants can be easily corrected with a slight program adjustment. There have been the less frequent complaints, “it sounds sharp”, “everything is shrilly” and “her voice is too harsh.” Some of the more entertaining ones are: “I sound like I’m underwater”, “it sounds like there are bees everywhere” and “everything echoes.”

Programming a hearing aid is a developed skill. The goal of a good program setting is to provide you with sounds that are easy to process and effortless to respond to. Having worked with over a thousand people to help them hear their best, I am very good at translating your description of sounds into what you want the program to deliver.

If you struggle to hear well and wonder if there could be a better setting to your program, call for an appointment 941-244-9300. Sound quality can be adjusted with a quick office visit.