Why do some individuals thrive with the use of hearing aids while others fail? Turns out there is not one singular reason some people do better than other, but multiple factors which determine an individual’s success. Before pursuing hearing aids, ask yourself “am I ready for hearing aids?” Be honest with yourself and determine if you are ready to commit to the daily use and care of hearing aids. Unlike glasses, hearing aids are not an instant fix. It can take time to re-train your brain how to “hear” again, and like any skill you will not reap the full benefit without consistent practice! Those individuals who do not wear their hearing aids consistently often find that if they attempt to wear their hearing aids in a challenging environment (such as a noisy restaurant), they are overwhelmed. We like to compare those noisy environments to running a marathon, you wouldn’t run a marathon without training first! With hearing loss, the training is as simple as wearing your hearing aids around your house. You would be surprised by how noisy your air conditioner and fridge can be!
Once you are prepared to commit to daily use of your hearing aids do your research and determine what features are important to you. If dexterity is a concern, consider a rechargeable hearing aid; if you are tech savvy, you may be interested in streaming and connectivity capabilities. Whatever your interests, your audiologist should work with you to determine the best option for your lifestyle and budget. Find a provider that you are happy with, remember you should not feel pressured by your provider at any time and should be comfortable asking any questions. Be sure to ask your provider if they do Real Ear Measurements, as this ensures your hearing aid is fit specifically to your hearing loss.
When you are fit with your new hearing aids, make sure you feel comfortable before leaving the office. If something seems too loud in office, speak up. Your new hearing aids should not feel painful or cause discomfort. Your opinion is the most important so make sure you provide feedback so the audiologist can give you the best fit. Remember, this is a journey. It may take several weeks to work you up to your prescription and that’s totally normal! We don’t want you to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. Finally, don’t be afraid to change your mind or address a problem! Hearing aids and earmold should have a trial and/or remake period, so let your provider know of any problems or concerns right away!