All You Need to Know about Getting Hearing Aids
Nobody just gets new hearing aids out of the box. It doesn’t work like that. The process requires extensive hearing tests, balancing costs and features, customization, fittings and an adjustment period. Get the most out of new hearing aids by finding out what to can expect, what questions to ask and how to adjust to your new hearing aids with the help of your trained hearing care professional.
Here’s your plan for every step of the process.
Before your appointment
Start by scheduling a hearing test. At this appointment, your hearing care professional will test your hearing, review the results, and help you determine if hearing aids are a good idea for you. Over the days before you go to this appointment, be sure to compile a list of questions to review with your hearing care professional.
This starter list of questions will help you as you prepare to find out more:
- What type of hearing loss do I have? Is it mild, moderate, severe, or profound?
- Can hearing aids help me, and can I manage with a hearing aid in just one ear?
- Which hearing aid is best for my needs? How can I balance price with features?
- What are your financing options? (Installment plans, private insurance, credit arrangements, state programs, etc.)
During your hearing test 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 your hearing test comes back positive for hearing loss, and indicates that you could benefit from hearing aids, your hearing care professional will review your options with you.
If you are selecting hearing aids, discuss the following items with your hearing care professional:
- Programmability – most hearing aids are digital and programmable; they can be programmed to correct your particular level of hearing loss. Don’t let anyone try to sell you a hearing instrument right out of the box with no adjustment necessary; it simply won’t work the way you want it to.
- Style – hearing aids come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and fits. Some models sit behind the ear, other models fit all the way 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 communicate wirelessly with compatible smartphones. This puts power in your hands to discreetly adjust volume and settings, send phone calls right to your hearing aids, and stream your favorite music playlists—not wires remote controls necessary.
- Advanced features – some hearing aids are loaded with advanced technological features: telecoils for crisp phone calls, directional microphones to improve speech sounds, background noise reduction, environmental settings and more. Consider whether or not you actually need some of these options, or if you can opt for a more cost-effective device.
This may all seem confusing, but your hearing care professional can expertly guide you through the whole process. Be warned: if someone tries to nudge you into a decision without addressing all of your questions, see another hearing care professional.
Bringing your hearing aids home
Once you’ve selected your hearing aids and had them programmed by your hearing care professional, it’s time to get busy living a new life with them. Understand and remember the following two important points:
First, you simply won’t fall in love with your hearing aids immediately. You’re going to have to adjust to hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a long time, and the overall sound may seem “off.” This is completely normal and, after a few weeks, will subside.
We recommend starting small while you’re 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.
If you still struggle to hear, or to adapt to the new sounds, your hearing aids can be adjusted more than once! Don’t settle for less: schedule a follow-up visit with your hearing care professional to fine-tune your hearing aids.
Second, for the best results, 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 not only enjoy better hearing, you’ll wonder why on earth you waited so long to try hearing aids in the first place. If you have any other questions about hearing aids, or the process of acquiring them, give us a call!