Hearing aids are a very personal thing: one size does not fit all. To get the best out of your hearing aids, make sure to prepare for each step along the way and to work with a qualified hearing care professional.
Follow these steps for a successful hearing aid experience:
Before the appointment
During your appointment, your hearing care professional will conduct your hearing test, hearing, review the results, and help you decide if hearing aids are right for you. The best thing you can do before your appointment is to compile a list of questions you want to ask your hearing care professional.
Here are some good questions to start with:
- What sort of hearing loss do I have? Is it mild, moderate, severe, or profound?
- Can hearing aids help?
- Do I need them for both ears?
- Which hearing aid is best for my needs? How can I balance features with cost?
- What are my financing options for hearing aids? (Private insurance, credit arrangements, state programs, etc.)
At your appointment
Hearing aids may not be required if the results of your hearing test come back normal. Nevertheless, you’ll have a baseline test to compare future hearing tests.
If the results indicate hearing loss, you may benefit from hearing aids. Your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
There are several variables to consider in selecting a hearing aid. Make sure you discuss these areas:
- Programmability – most hearing aids are digital and programmable so that they can be programmed to match the specifications of your hearing loss. This is crucial; if someone tries to sell you a hearing instrument right out of the box with no adjustment necessary, it probably won’t work the way you want it to.
- Style – hearing aids come in several sizes and styles, from models that sit behind the ear to models that fit entirely within the ear canal. You’ll want to balance price, ease-of-use, functionality, and aesthetics in making your decision.
- Wireless connectivity – several hearing aid models can hook up wirelessly to compatible smartphones. That way, you can discreetly adjust volume and settings, send phone calls directly to your hearing aids, and even stream music all without any wires or the need for a separate hearing aid remote control.
- Advanced features – some hearing aids come have advanced features, like directional microphones to enhance speech, background noise reduction, environmental settings, and telecoils for clearer phone calls. You may also want to forgo some of these options and opt for a more cost-effective model.
Although it may all seem confusing at first, your hearing care professional can help guide you through the decision-making process. Be aware, however: if someone tries to rush or steer you to a decision without addressing your questions; that should be a red flag.
After You Get Your Hearing Aids
Once you’ve selected hearing aids and had them programmed by your hearing care professional, you’re ready to take them home. But you should keep two things in mind:
First, you won’t fall in love with your hearing aids immediately. You’ll likely be hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a while, and the overall sound may seem strange. This is perfectly normal and, after a few weeks, will subside.
We recommend starting small at home. Try watching a movie and paying particular attention to the dialogue, or engage in one-on-one conversations in a quiet room. Try listening to music; pick out or follow certain instruments.
Even though it may be uncomfortable at first, you should try to wear your hearing aids as much of the day as possible, putting them in when you wake up and taking them out before bed. This will speed up the adjustment process, and after a few weeks, you’ll be glad you put in the effort.
Also remember that your hearing aids can be adjusted, so if you continue to have difficulty hearing or adapting to the new sound, schedule a follow-up visit with your hearing care professional to fine-tune the settings.
Second, to ensure continued performance, you’ll need to properly maintain and care for your new hearing aids. This means daily cleaning, proper storage, and managing your battery supply.
You can make these tasks easier on yourself with the right tools and habits. Hearing aid cleaning kits, storage cases/sanitizers, and batteries can all be supplied, with tips, from your hearing care professional.
After a short period of adjustment, you’ll be prepared to enjoy the all the benefits of better hearing. If you have any other questions about hearing aids, or the process of acquiring them, give us a call!