Date issued: November 2019
For review: November 2021
Ref: D-111/Audiology/AB/Telephone Follow-ups 2 v4
When is my follow-up call?
Typically this will be 8 – 10 weeks after your new aid(s) were fitted.
It will take this time to get used to the sound of your new hearing aid(s) and also the feeling of having something in your ear. For this reason, many people build up the use of their hearing aids over the first few weeks. You should aim to be wearing your hearing aid(s) for at least 6 hours a day by the time you receive your call.
If you find this time isn’t convenient please ring the Audiology Department and ask for it to be changed.
What will happen during my follow-up call?
The Audiologist will first want to check that they are talking to the correct person. They will do this by asking you for your date of birth and address, and checking it agrees with the information they have.
The Audiologist will then ask some general questions about how you have been getting along with your hearing aid(s), for example checking that they are comfortable and you know how to switch them on and off.
The Audiologist will then ask you about your hearing aid(s) in a number of different situations. These situations are the same ones you discussed with the Audiologist before you were fitted with your hearing aid(s), as follows
- Listening to the television with other family or friends, when the volume is adjusted to suit other people
- Having a conversation with another person when there is no background noise
- Carrying on a conversation in a busy street or shop
- Having a conversation with several people in a group
They will also ask you about any other situations discussed with your Audiologist, where it is important for you to hear as well as possible.
For each situation they will ask you how much you use your hearing aid(s), how much your hearing aid(s) help, how much difficulty you still have and how satisfied you are. It can take time to go through all these questions, but it gives the advisor a good picture of how you are getting along, so is important to complete. To make it easier, you will be asked to select the most appropriate answer for each question from a list. These lists are given opposite.
During your follow-up call, when asked, please select the most appropriate answer from the lists below:
In this situation, what proportion of the time do you wear your hearing aid?
a) Never / not at all
b) About ¼ the time
c) About ½ the time
d) About ¾ of the time
e) All the time
In this situation, how much does your hearing aid help you?
- No use at all
- Some help
- Quite helpful
- Great help
- Hearing is perfect with aid
In this situation, with your hearing aid, how much difficulty do you now have?
- no difficulty
- only slight difficulty
- moderate difficulty
- great difficulty
- cannot manage at all
For this situation, how satisfied are you with your hearing aid?
- not satisfied at all
- a little satisfied
- reasonably satisfied
- very satisfied
- delighted with aid
How long will the follow-up call take?
This will vary, but typically it will take about 20 minutes. You may want to have a seat next to the telephone so you can sit down during the call.
Using the telephone
Many people who have a hearing loss have problems hearing on the telephone, but with hearing aid(s) most are able to hear better.
In the first few weeks when you are getting used to your hearing aid(s) it is a good idea to ask a family member or friend to ring you so you can try using your hearing aid(s) with the telephone. It is best to tell them beforehand what you want to do, and that you may need time to adjust the position of the phone or settings, so you can hear better.
The following tips should help:
- If you answer the telephone without your hearing aid(s) in ask the caller to wait whilst you put your hearing aid(s) in.
- Hold the telephone receiver slightly higher than normal, so the middle of the speaker lines up with the top of your hearing aid where the microphone is.
- If you have a telephone with a built in telecoil or telecoil adaptor, switch your hearing aid to the telecoil setting during the call.
- If your hearing aid(s) or telephone has a volume control, adjust these so you can hear comfortably.
If you find you still have problems hearing on the telephone when using your hearing aid(s) and are concerned about receiving your follow-up call as you feel you may not hear well enough, you can cancel it and have a follow-up appointment instead. To do this please let Audiology Department know by writing or telephoning them. This can be done by someone else on your behalf, with your agreement. Please write to the address below, or phone the Audiology Department number. You will need to give your name, date of birth, NHS number and first line of your address.
Plymouth, PL6 8DH
Getting used to hearing aids
It takes time and patience to get used to hearing aids. This is because your brain will have adapted to hearing less, and it will have to adapt back to hearing better.
Initially you are likely to find the world far noisier that you are used to, and things sound different. This is because, for the majority of people, their hearing will have decreased slowly over a number of years and they will have forgotten how things used to sound. In particular, many people loose the high pitches of sounds first, so when initially wearing hearing aid(s) things will sound more tinny than before.
Your Audiologist will advise you about how to get used to your hearing aid. Some people prefer to start by listening in easy listening environments, such as the news on television when there is no background noise, and then build up their use of the hearing aid gradually. Once they are more used to their hearing aid they then try it in difficult listening situations, such as outside or in noisy places. It is also important to allow your ear to get used to having something in your ear. Again some people prefer to build up use gently.
Hearing aids are designed to be used on a full time basis, the more you wear them, the more benefit you should get. It is important to wear your hearing aid(s) in all situations, from sitting alone reading the paper and gardening to going shopping and meeting friends. If you only wear your hearing aid occasionally or in difficult situations your brain will not have chance to adapt and you will not get much benefit. This is quite different from correcting sight with glasses, as glasses are able to give instant benefit and the brain does not have to adapt.