HEARING AID EDUCATION
At Hearing Your Way, we are here to help you. That means we listen to you when you tell us what you want and need out of hearing aids, and we focus on finding hearing aids that address your needs. It also means that we encourage you to make your own decisions about your hearing loss. We recommend several hearing aid options that we think would be a good fit for you, and we answer your questions so you can make an educated choice between them.
Many of our patients have similar questions about hearing aids and hearing loss. We think it's important that you understand your hearing loss in order to make the best decision for you, so we've gathered some of those questions here.
If you don't see your question, or you still want to know more, don't hesitate to give us a call or drop by our office. We'll be happy to go over the answers with you.
A hearing test is the only way to be sure whether or not you have hearing loss. We recommend having a hearing test annually once you turn 55 just to establish a baseline. That way you can also catch hearing loss early. You may also have hearing loss if you ask people to repeat themselves regularly, turn the TV or radio up more than you used to, feel like people are mumbling around you, have difficulty hearing children or other people with higher-pitched voices, or feel disconnected because you struggle to follow conversations.
On average, hearing aids work well for 4-6 years. A lot depends on the environment they're in, though. For example, if you wear them in places with lots of dust and dirt, or you expose them to hairspray or water, they won't last as long. That's why it's so important to take good care of them and clean them regularly. If you do take care of them, they may last a very long time! Often patients choose to replace hearing aids within 3-5 years not because the hearing aids are broken but because technology has improved so much in that time.
No hearing instrument can restore your hearing to normal, nor can they cure your hearing loss. However, they can and will make a huge difference to your quality of life!
Most people won't even notice you're wearing hearing aids. After you've had a hearing test, we'll give you the chance to try on a pair of demo hearing aids yourself so you can see just how small and discreet they are. If the people you speak with notice anything, it'll be that you are having an easier time keeping up with conversations.
If your brain isn't hearing certain sounds, the part of your brain responsible for understanding those sounds will start deteriorating. And that's not something we can get back. To retain your ability to understand sounds, you need to make sure your brain is receiving those sounds — which is exactly what hearing aids can help with. Otherwise, if you wait a long time before getting hearing aids, you run the risk of not being able to understand what you hear even once you're wearing the hearing instruments. We often hear people comment that they wish they'd gotten hearing aids sooner.
When you first get new hearing aids, you should wear them all day, every day, for two weeks. Don't take them out during the day. Give your brain a chance to get used to them. Usually, by the end of that two-week period, you'll be amazed what a difference you notice! If you're physically uncomfortable, or things don't improve even though you are keeping your hearing aids in all day, let us know so we can try adjusting them to be more comfortable.
Sometimes, when a person gets hearing aids, their family thinks that means they'll hear like they used to. It's not quite that simple. If someone you love has recently gotten hearing aids, you have to do your part to help communicate! You shouldn't have to shout at them like you might be used to, but you still need to face them, slow down, and stay nearby when you have a conversation with them.