Should I Program My Own Hearing Aids?
In a bid to save time and gain more control over their hearing, some hearing aid users attempt to program their own hearing aids at home...
...If you’re thinking of doing the same thing, you should know the pros and cons of working on your device’s software. While it can bring some advantages, it’s definitely not the right decision for every hearing aid user.
How Hearing Aids are Normally Programmed
For most people, hearing aid programming is a hands-off process. Audiologists handle the hearing aid programing for the majority of hearing aid users. During a visit to your audiologist’s office, he or she will take your hearing aids and connect them to a computer, then ask you questions about how they are performing. Depending on your answers and on the results of tests, your audiologist will then change the programming inside your hearing aid.
Audiologists also use specialized equipment to help them decide which settings to change and how to change them. For instance, some audiologists use a probe microphone in combination with your hearing aids to determine what kind of sound is actually reaching your ears. Others use special software to automatically fit your hearing aid’s programming to your audiogram.
Can You Program Your Own Hearing Aids?
With recent advances in computer technology, it’s more feasible for users to program their own hearing aids at home. There are also many tutorials and resources online to help people who want to try it, making it an option for more people than ever before.
To many hearing aid owners, self-programming feels like a great idea. It can be empowering to control your own hearing and your own property. Self-programming also gives you a measure of independence, since you won’t need to rely on your audiologist to make changes to your hearing aids for you.
However, programming your own hearing aids isn’t always a good idea. There are many things that can go wrong when you’re programming your hearing aids yourself, and it’s not always easy to start doing. You’ll need some special equipment and a good deal of patience - and even then, it’s easy to make mistakes.
The Difficulties of Self-Programming
Although there are many resources for learning to program your own hearing aids, it can be difficult to get started. Here are a few of the obstacles you’ll face when programming your hearing aids yourself:
- Software issues - Hearing aid software is very specialized and contains hundreds of different settings and options. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily make mistakes that can damage your hearing aids or render them useless.
- Hardware needs - To program your hearing aids you’ll need to purchase special devices, including a hearing aid hardware interface and special connection cables. This hardware can cost hundreds of dollars, and if you ever change hearing aids you may need to purchase a new interface or cables to match.
- Programming difficulties - Even if you do purchase the hardware and connect it to your computer properly, there is no guarantee you will have enough experience to improve your hearing aid. It’s not always obvious what you need to do to make your hearing aid perform better, but it is easy to make mistakes. You could even change the settings to a point that your hearing aid could damage your hearing.
Why an Audiologist Should Program Your Hearing Aids
In contrast to the difficulties of self-programming, letting an audiologist program your hearing aids poses virtually no risk to you or your devices. Audiologists are trained and experienced in programming hearing aids, and they have all of the resources they need to make the right changes to benefit you. When you allow an audiologist to program your hearing aids for you, you’re guaranteed to get beneficial results without the hassle of purchasing expensive hardware or learning complicated computer programs.
Programming might seem like a good way to flex your DIY skills and get more control over your hearing aids, but it’s definitely not for most people. Instead, let qualified and experienced audiologists like the ones at Audio Recovery handle it for you. We’ll help you find the perfect settings for your hearing aids and answer any questions you have along the way. Call 405-949-1906 today to get started or visit our Facebook page for more information.
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