Tips for Getting New Hearing Aids
If you need hearing aids and want to get the best experience possible from them, remember that there is no “one-size-fits-all” hearing solution for every patient. You need to prepare and understand each step in the process and work with a qualified hearing care professional.
Here’s how to plan for every step of the process.
Before your appointment
At your hearing test, your hearing care professional will test your hearing, review the results, and help you decide if hearing aids are the right choice for you. Be fully prepared for this appointment: draw up a list of questions to ask your hearing care professional.
Here are some of the questions you’ll want to cover:
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?
What hearing aids would best fit my needs?
How should I decide to balance desired features with my budget?
How should I pay for my hearing aids? (Insurance, credit, installment plans, state programs, etc.)
At your hearing test appointment
There is, of course, a chance your hearing tests will not detect hearing loss at this time. If that’s the case, you’ll now have a baseline test to compare with any future tests.
On the other hand, if you test positive for hearing loss, you may well benefit from hearing aids. Your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
There are many variables to consider when considering what type of hearing aids to get. Make sure you discuss all these areas:
Programmability – Most modern hearing aid models are digital and programmable to match the exact needs of your type of 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 weight ease-of-use, functionality, aesthetics and price when deciding on hearing aid models.
Wireless connectivity – several hearing aid models can hook up wirelessly to compatible smartphones. This gives you the options to discreetly control 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 equipped with additional 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.
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.
Taking your new hearing aids home
Once you’ve selected your hearing aids and had them programmed by your hearing care professional, you’re ready to bring them home. But you should keep two things in mind.
First, don’t expect to 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 will just seem “off.” This is perfectly normal and, after a few weeks, will subside.
When you first get your hearing aids, start off with some quiet experiments at home. Try watching a quieter movie and focus on dialog and small sounds. Have a one-on-one chat with a friend in a quiet room, and try listening to music and picking out or following 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, the effort will pay off and your hearing aids will feel more natural.
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 adjustment period, you’ll really start enjoying all the improved hearing benefits of your new hearing aids. If you have more questions about hearing aids, or the process of acquiring them, give us a call!