Are you struggling with hearing loss or are you unsure of what to expect when using hearing aids for the first time? When you invest in hearing aids, you’re also investing in yourself and your ability to connect, understand conversations and live life to the fullest. Here are 9 things to expect when buying and using hearing aids for the first time:
A hearing problem is more noticeable than hearing aids.
A hearing problem is more than just hearing loss; it impacts your ability to connect, communicate and understand conversations. Hearing problems usually develop slowly and subtly and may be hardly noticeable to ourselves but very noticeable to family and friends. Whether you’re embarrassed or in denial, it’s better to seek help rather than try to hide or ignore hearing loss. When people try to hide their hearing loss, it often leads to social isolation which in turn can cause depression and a decrease in activity.
You are not alone.
Hearing loss is a very common problem affecting nearly 30 million people directly, and countless others indirectly. Most people over age 65 have some hearing loss, and nearly all people over age 80.
Know what is causing your hearing loss.
It’s important to determine the cause of your hearing loss in order to properly treat it. This is done through a comprehensive hearing evaluation with an audiologist or ENT physician where your personal and medical history will be taken into account, not just your ability to hear. The good news is, most hearing loss can be treated medically, surgically or through the use of hearing aids, many of which are specifically designed for sensorineural or ‘nerve loss’.
Don’t buy hearing aids through the mail, over the Internet or off the rack.
Hearing aids shouldn’t be treated the same as some off-the-rack reading glasses. Similar to dentures, hearing aids are a substitute for a natural function of the body and must be the right fit. What’s good for one person is not necessarily what’s good for you since we are all individuals with individual hearing patterns, requirements and types of hearing loss. Always consult with a trained Audiologist before purchasing hearing aids as they will take into consideration your degree of hearing loss, your physical abilities and limitations, as well as those of your ears.
Better hearing aids are worth it.
When you choose to invest in better hearing, it’s more than an investment in hearing aids, it’s an investment in yourself, your well-being and the experiences yet to come! Hearing aid technology has improved drastically over the years, especially in the way devices are adjusted to compensate for the natural patterns of hearing loss. The most sophisticated devices now use the same advanced technology as found in the microchips of computers. You can think of it this way, the best pair of skis will not make you an Olympic skier, but they can enhance your natural abilities!
There will be an adjustment period.
Adjusting to hearing aids requires some patience, effort and perseverance. Just like dentures, or even new shoes, it takes time to get adjusted to new sensations. As hearing loss tends to occur gradually, so does readjusting to the world of sound, especially if you’ve grown accustomed to living with hearing loss.
It is quite natural at first for higher-pitched sounds of speech, everyday sounds and noises, and your own voice to sound ‘funny’. However, over time with repeated exposure, these sounds become natural again. With consistent, daily, proper use of your hearing aids, your brain will re-learn how to interpret sounds and also filter-out unwanted sounds (yes, this is the brain’s job and not the hearing aid’s job). This process doesn’t happen over night; Stay the course and continue to use your hearing aids for maximum success.
Your audiologist will work with you during the adjustment period, which may take a few visits and adjustments, and beyond to assist with ensuring a proper fit, adjusting and fine-tuning settings, repairing and more. At Advanced Specialty Care, we want you to be satisfied with your hearing aids which is why we offer a 45 day trial period, which allows a 90% refund if hearing aids are returned during that period.
You will need follow-up care.
It is vitally important to stay in contact with your Audiologist during the adjustment and trial period, and afterwards, if any questions or concerns arise. When you purchase hearing aids from a reputable practice, you aren’t just buying hearing aids, you’re purchasing a comprehensive plan for hearing improvement, which should include counseling and follow-up care. Hearing aids purchased from Advanced Specialty Care come with a 2-3 year warranty that includes repair and loss replacement, as well as service.
Hearing aids are not a magic cure.
Unfortunately, hearing aids do not cure hearing loss or prevent it from getting worse. It’s important to also note, they do not cause hearing loss to get worse. Hearing aids work by improving the sound reaching the ears so that the brain can receive the proper information to do its job.
Hearing aids do not eliminate background noise but they can help the person with hearing loss to hear better in it. That being said, you may not hear equally well in all situations such as noisy environments which are difficult to hear in whether you wear hearing aids or not. Be sure that your expectations are realistic.
If you have hearing loss in both ears, you will likely need two hearing aids. Noisy environments, in particular, can sound chaotic with only one ear. And for certain situations, some people need more than hearing aids – a special adapter or pickup for the telephone; doorbell and smoke alarm alerting devices; infrared television amplifiers for example.
Hearing aids don’t last forever.
There is wear and tear on hearing aids. Think of the environment in which they’re used – the ear canal – there’s humidity, debris, bacteria, earwax. And though the technology does change and improve, it’s more likely that your hearing needs, and the shape of your ears and ear canals, will change over time. You will need to see your audiologist from time to time for checkups.
Don’t let your hearing loss hold you back any longer. Schedule your hearing evaluation at Advanced Specialty Care and make hearing better a priority for yourself and your family!