Hearing aids are not one-size-fits-all. To ensure that you get the most out of your hearing aids, it’s important to prepare for each step of the way and to work with a qualified hearing care professional.
Here’s how to plan for every step of the process.
Before you go to your appointment
At your hearing test, your hearing care professional will examine your hearing in-depth, review your 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 to review with 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?
Are hearing aids a good option for me?
Do I need them for both of my ears?
Which hearing aid is best for my needs? How can I balance features with cost?
How can I finance my hearing aids? (Private insurance, credit arrangements, state programs, etc.)
During your appointment
If the results of your hearing test come back normal, hearing aids may not be required, and you’ll have a baseline test to compare future hearing tests.
If the results indicate a hearing loss level that requires help, and that you can benefit from hearing aids, your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
In selecting a hearing aid, there are several variables to consider. Make sure you cover 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 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.
Although it may seem overwhelming at first, your hearing care professional can help guide you through the entire decision-making process. But if someone tries to rush or steer you to a decision without addressing your questions, that’s a sign you should find another hearing care professional.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget that if you’re not adjusting to your hearing aids after a few days, your hearing aids can be adjusted. If you have trouble hearing or adapting to the new sounds, 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 the process of adjustment much easier on yourself if you have the right tools and habits. Make sure to stock up on hearing aid cleaning kits, storage cases/sanitizers, and batteries. Your hearing care professional can advise you and give you all kinds of tips for success.
After you allow yourself and your hearing aids a short adjustment period, you’ll be able to enjoy the all the benefits of better hearing. If you have any questions at all about hearing aids, or the process of being fitted, buying and adjusting to them, give us a call!