We get this question a lot. The important thing to remember is that there are no “one-size-fits-all” hearing aids. It’s a very personal process, but you can get the most out of yours if you prepare properly, from your first hearing test all the way to taking your new hearing aids home. Work with a qualified hearing care professional to get the best results.
Follow these tips to plan for every step of the process:
Before your hearing test
At your first appointment, your hearing care professional will conduct your hearing test, look through the results to see if you suffer hearing loss, and then discuss whether or not hearing aids in order. Before your first your appointment, write down a good list of questions to review with your hearing care professional.
Some of the questions should be:
What type of hearing loss do I have? Is it mild, moderate, severe, or profound?
Can hearing aids help, and do I need one 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.)
During your appointment
In the event that your hearing tests are normal, you may not need hearing aids right now; but you’ll have a baseline test with which to compare future hearing tests.
If the results turn out positive for hearing loss, and that you can benefit from hearing aids, your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
If you need to select hearing aids, there are several variables to consider. Make sure you discuss these areas with your hearing care professional:
Programmability –If someone tries to sell you hearing aids out of the box, they’re not going to work right. Today’s hearing aids are both digital and programmable. Your hearing care professional should spend some time programming hearing aids to remedy your exact level of hearing loss for the best results.
Style – hearing aids come in a wide array of sizes and styles. There are a host of models that sit behind the ear and many 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 – most hearing aid models today can connect wirelessly to compatible smartphones. This gives you the power to adjust volume and settings, send phone calls directly to your hearing aids, and even stream your favorite music in to your hearing aids—without any wires separate hearing aid remote controls.
Advanced features – some hearing aids have even more advanced features built in: background noise reduction, directional microphones to enhance speech, environmental settings, and telecoils for sharper phone calls. You may also want to forgo some of these options and opt for a more cost-effective model.
This may all seem confusing, but your hearing care professional is trained to help guide you through the decision-making process. Of course, if someone tries to rush or steer you to a decision without addressing your questions, that should be a red flag.
Your new hearing aids at home
Once your hearing care professional has programmed your hearing aids, provided you with the maintenance equipment and extensive instructions, you’re ready to go home with them!
Just understand that your journey only beginning here; keep the following two points in mind:
First, you just won’t adore your hearing aids on the first day. You’ll be hearing sounds you forgot existed. The overall sound may seem “off” for this reason. This is perfectly normal and, after a few weeks, this sensation will abate.
We recommend starting small at home. Try watching a movie and paying particular attention to the dialogue, engage in one-on-one conversations in a quiet room, and try listening to music and picking out or following certain instruments.
Your hearing aids won’t be as comfortable as you want them to be at first. Nevertheless, you’ll need to try and wear your hearing aids as much through the day as possible. Put them in when you wake up and leave them in until you get ready for 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.
Make the whole process easier on yourself by getting equipped with the right tools and habits: Get hearing aid cleaning kits, storage cases/sanitizers, batteries and daily care 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!