Let’s face it: no one wakes up one day excited to get hearing aids. In fact, they’ve probably been avoiding it for several years. During that time, their brain has adapted to a “new normal” with less diversity and range of sounds. When they finally walk through your door, they still don’t feel great about a hearing loss diagnosis and may be skeptical about the benefits a hearing solution can offer.
First impressions matter, and fitting a new hearing instrument wearer at a full or target fit at the first appointment may be overwhelming because they simply aren’t used to how it sounds.
That’s why our new first fit strategy on the Discover platform offers new wearers a more natural-sounding first fit or starting point that seamlessly transitions to the industry standard fitting formula target over a few weeks.
Age-related hearing loss happens over time, and the brain adapts to not receiving and processing the same volume and variety of sounds as before. Without time to adjust, starting at full target can be overpowering overwhelming for new hearing aid wearers. Worse yet, it might impact their willingness to accept hearing instruments.
But there is a way to make a great first impression: start with a sound that’s more comfortable and natural, and let them adapt to the solution at a pace that’s right for them.
“There’s an innate tension between wanting to give a person the best speech intelligibility and the reality of what they are ready to hear,” explains Don Hayes, Director of Clinical Research. “Our central auditory systems rewire themselves to respond to the sound quality we’ve been used to hearing. We need to adapt to a hearing solution much in the same way we adapt to hearing loss. Luckily, since our auditory system is plastic, with hearing instruments we can regain the ability to receive, process and respond to sound within a matter of weeks.”
It all starts with the fuller, more natural sound that clients prefer. Our first fit strategy uses a flatter frequency response so that new hearing instrument wearers can adjust more gradually to higher pitched sounds and occlusions.
Getting the hearing instruments set up is also quicker too. A new workflow in Unitron TrueFit™ software ensures all the necessary settings are configured properly for a starting point that will sound great.
While they’re happy with the first fit, our Automatic Adaptation Manager (AAM) will help them adapt to hearing better. AAM starts with the acoustic transparency that new hearing instrument wearers prefer, then automatically transitions them to the industry standard fitting formula target for the greatest long-term benefit. This gradual transition allows the auditory system to adapt to receiving, processing, and accepting the sounds that have been missed at a more natural pace.
“We start at great sound for the first-time user, and we step it up to the optimal performing setting needed for long-term benefit,” says Doug Baldwin, Senior Manager, Global Learning & Development, Audiology at Unitron. “And all of that happens seamlessly for both the user and the hearing care professional.”
Great things happen when you combine this first fit approach with FLEX:TRIALTM. Your clients can enjoy the benefits of a hearing solution in the places they live, work and play – right from the first appointment and with no commitments or obligation. They can even share in-the-moment ratings about their hearing experiences through our Remote Plus app. Proactive alerts will let you know if they aren’t fully satisfied so you can step in for support, or better prepare for the next appointment.
“This is a game-changer for the hearing care journey. When we can partner with wearers to improve their hearing in a more natural, comfortable way, they are more likely to accept and feel satisfied with a hearing solution,” says Baldwin.
While your clients may have been skeptical at the start, a supremely satisfying first fit means they’re more likely to accept hearing instruments and enjoy using them in the long term. (Not to mention sharing the experience with people they know.)