There simply aren’t any “out-of-the-box” hearing aid solutions that work the same for everyone. Make sure you get the most out of your new hearing aids, by following this step-by-step process while working with a qualified hearing care professional.
Here’s how to plan for hearing aid success.
Before your appointment
When you go to your hearing test appointment, your hearing care professional will test all aspects of your hearing, examine your results and discuss them with you so you can make an informed choice about whether or not to get hearing aids. Pro tip: compile a list of questions to review with your hearing care professional before you go to this appointment.
Here are some of the questions you’ll want to cover:
- Do have hearing loss and how extensive is it (mild, moderate, severe, or profound)?
- If I need hearing aids, do I need them for one or both ears?
- Which hearing aid is best for my needs? How can I balance features with cost?
- What are the payment options for 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 hearing loss, and that you can benefit from hearing aids, your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
When selecting hearing aids, you’ll need to consider several aspects throughout the process. Make sure that your hearing care professional examines each of the following with you so you can make an informed decision:
- 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 to your smartphone – several hearing aid models have the functionality to wirelessly connect 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 – Many hearing aid models 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. Please understand: if anyone tries to quickly nudge you towards a hearing aid purchase without having gone over all of these options with you, this is one serious red flag.
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 of all, understand that hearing aids require an adjustment period and you’ll have to get used to them before you love them. 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.
The good news is that your hearing aids can be adjusted! If you still have difficulty hearing or adapting to the new soundscape, 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 be able to enjoy the all the benefits of better hearing. If you have any other questions about hearing aids, or the process of acquiring them, please do give us a call!