It is imperative that you understand what hearing aids will be able to do for you. They are not going to completely restore your hearing to what it was at one time; however, when worn on a regular basis they will help you to become more and more alert to the sounds that are going on around you and where they have originated from.
You need to be patient when you first begin using your new devices. It is going to take time to get used to wearing them. In the vast majority of states, you are given a certain amount of time to try them out to see if they are going to work for you after the purchase. If they do not work, you are able to receive your money back for the fees involved and choose a style that works better for your specific needs. Make sure you ask about the different warranty options there are to choose from as well.
Take the time to go through and learn exactly how your hearing devices work and make sure they are a good fit. Working alongside of your audiologist will help to minimize any potential problems including:
• Mild discomfort
• Echo from the sound of your voice
• Whistling and other forms of feedback
• Noise in the background
• Buzzing whenever used with a cell phone
In the beginning, you may want to start off by wearing your hearing aids in a quiet environment to help get accustomed to how it works. Keeping a diary of your experience is another beneficial tool for your audiologist to review if there are ever any issues.
Your hearing instruments can last a substantial amount of time if you take the proper care and precautions for them. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to your devices:
• Follow the recommended cleaning instructions.
• Prevent your device from coming in contact with any moisture, heat, children, pets and various hair products.
• When you are not using your hearing aid, turn the unit off. Replace any dead batteries as soon as you become aware of the situation. These batteries can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The length of time the battery is going to last will depend solely on the type of battery you purchase, what type of power the unit requires and how much you use your unit with other assisted listening devices.
• The overall life expectancy is around three to six years. If your hearing loss has progressed further, new aids may be necessary before your old one has run its course. Behind the ear units offer a lot more flexibility for the user because they have the capability of being programmed for a broader degree of hearing loss.
It takes time to get used to wearing hearing aids, but the benefits will far outweigh any of the negatives when it comes to purchasing a device. Take the time to discuss the different options that are available for you to choose from to work with your degree of hearing loss. Before you know it you will be able to enjoy hearing the sounds of the environment all around you. There is nothing like being able to sit back and relax while taking in the sounds of birds chirping or a thunderstorm looming on the horizon.
All too often we forget just how important the little things can be until we are faced with the possibility of never being able to hear them again. You have options to choose from, but it is up to you to take control of the situation and speak with your doctor right away before it gets any worse than it already is. There is something out there for everyone, regardless of what degree of hearing loss you are dealing with or what your budget looks like. It is up to you to take the first step and make the call that could change your life.
Kenneth C. Parker, Au.D., grew up in Summerville, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia. He graduated from the Audiology program at Georgia in 1974 and moved to the Chattanooga area shortly thereafter. Ken has been married to his wife Martha for 40 years. They have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and reading, and is involved with Church activities.