Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Reasons To Consult A Hearing Care Professional

2021-09-20 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids?

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss?

What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help?

With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart devices, and increase accessibility to a wider reach of people.

So where do self-fitting hearing aids fit into the equation of better-hearing options? Let’s take a look.  

What Are Self-Fitting Hearing Aids?

Definitions of SFHAs can vary slightly across experts. In the simplest terms, they’re sound-amplifying devices designed to let the user measure their own hearing loss, appropriately install the devices in their ears, and program them for optimal hearing in various listening environments without the prescription or assistance of an Audiologist, medical doctor, or other specially trained hearing experts.

Can These Self-Fitting Devices Help Me?

As a relatively newer product category, self-fitting hearing aids may ultimately prove a welcome addition to the range of treatment options.

Click here to schedule your hearing assessment and find out which hearing aids are the right fit for you.

They still have a ways to go, however, in matching the effectiveness and satisfaction of clinician-fitted hearing devices. One recent study, “Outcomes With a Self-Fitting Hearing Aid,” compared user-driven and provider-driven fittings of a single self-fitting product.

Researchers uncovered no significant hearing-aid-performance differences between the two groups but saw that cognition plays a big role.

Those “with poorer cognitive function consistently exhibited more difficulty in handling the” self-fitting devices, wrote the study’s authors.

It’s important to note that self-fitting hearing aids require access to, familiarity with, and the ability to understand how to operate and adjust the devices, which could prove challenging for some patients struggling with manual dexterity, visual acuity, cognitive issues, or inability to navigate or access computers or apps.

Seeking professional assistance could make all the difference in user satisfaction.

Passage of the federal Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 in the US will eventually bring even more self-treating options to the market, but when it comes to addressing the full spectrum of hearing loss and integrating environmental variables such as background noise, Health Canada approved, provider-fit hearing aids are the recommended approach.

What Should I Do If I’m Having Hearing Difficulty?

Did you know? An estimated 466 million children and adults around the globe live with disabling hearing loss, per the World Health Organization, but the good news is that nearly all hearing impairment can be effectively managed to keep you communicating your best.  

An important first step is recognizing some of the potential signs and symptoms of hearing loss:

  • The perception that everyone seems to be mumbling
  • Trouble understanding speech in noisy environments
  • Frequent need to turn up the TV or have words repeated
  • Tinnitus — a buzzing, ringing, clicking, or humming in the ears
  • Difficulty conversing on the phone or understanding women’s and children’s voices

Untreated hearing loss has been linked to numerous other health complications such as cognitive decline, diabetes, depression, hypertension, social withdrawal, and more, making early treatment important to improving quality of life.

If you are experiencing listening problems or it’s been a while since your last hearing test, don’t wait. Schedule an evaluation with our expert team today. We’re here to help!

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Chris Arnold - Owner & HIS

Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, Chris went to Durham and George Brown College. As the owner of Arnold Hearing Centres, he manages all locations, as well as handles all the marketing, reporting, meetings, and makes sure that both the staff and patients have a positive experience. Ultimately, there is a lot of pressure on Chris to ensure he delivers results year after year, but he credits the clinic’s success down to the amazing staff that has now become family. Truly, he enjoys working alongside everyone each day.

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    Patient Care Coordinator Required to Join Winning Team

    Arnold Hearing Centres is in search of a Patient Care Coordinator to join our amazing team. It’s an opportunity to be part of a nationally respected team of passionate people who have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced hearing care experts in Ontario.

    We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our patient care coordinators.

    To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great patient care coordinator cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

    If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

    • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
    • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture. The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

    If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!
    Job Type: Full-time, 8-5, M-F, Competitive base salary (depending on experience) plus Commissions/Bonuses, Benefits including 401k available, paid holidays off, PTO included

    Experience required in the following areas:

    • Excellent customer service experience is essential!
    • Insurance verification experience is beneficial
    Audiologist Required to Join Winning Team

    Arnold Hearing Centres is in search of a dispensing audiologist to join our amazing team. It’s an opportunity to be part of a nationally respected team of passionate people who have built a stellar reputation as the most caring, trustworthy, and experienced hearing care experts in Ontario.

    We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our audiologists.

    To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great audiologist cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

    If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

    • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
    • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture. The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

    If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!

    Job Type: Full-time, 8-5, M-F, Competitive base salary (depending on experience) plus Commissions/Bonuses, Benefits including 401k available, paid holidays off, PTO included

    Experience required in the following areas:

    • Diagnostic testing
    • Multi-manufacturer hearing aid experience – fitting, programming, Lyric experience a plus
    • Cerumen management
    • Excellent customer service experience is essential!