We view ourselves as your partners on the journey for better hearing, and we want to make sure all of your questions are answered. Before they come into our office, many patients have misconceptions about hearing loss based on things they heard from their friends or unreliable sources on the internet. We are here to set some of the misconceptions straight.
Hearing aids can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of the people you love, but they're not a perfect cure. To get the most out of your hearing aids, try to have realistic expectations, and be prepared to adapt. Click on each question to reveal its answer:
Hearing aids won't make you hear everything perfectly. Unfortunately, there's no cure for hearing loss, and we can't make you hear like you did before. What hearing aids can do is give you back sounds that you had previously lost, so you can get back to the conversations and activities that bring you happiness. Our patients are often surprised by just how much they were missing. Hearing aids can give that back to you. You'll also have to get used to hearing sounds like footsteps and the refrigerator.
Remember that your loved one still has hearing loss. It will be easier to communicate once they're wearing hearing aids, but you will need to put forth a little extra effort to meet them halfway. Try to face them when you're speaking so they can see your lips, and avoid talking from behind them or especially from another room. If you're willing to try these things, you'll find that they can hear and understand you better than they have in a long time.
Like any electronic device, hearing aids need regular maintenance. That means changing out the batteries, keeping the hearing aids dry, and staying on top of wax buildup. Wax is one of the main reasons hearing aids fail, but fortunately there are things you can do to minimize that damage. Hearing aid manufacturers have started using wax filters on their hearing aids to keep the wax from getting into the device. If you're comfortable changing the filter yourself, we are happy to show you how. Otherwise, you're welcome to visit our office anytime you need the wax filter changed.
Hearing loss happens to people of all ages. You'll be able to feel younger and stay more active if you're better able to hear the world around you. And since hearing aids these days are very hard to see, chances are the people you interact with won't notice you're wearing them. You'll seem a lot older if you keep having to ask people to repeat themselves!
Yes. You didn't lose your hearing overnight, so your brain has slowly gotten used to not hearing the sounds you've lost over time. Now your brain will have to adapt to hearing these sounds again. The brain has one idea of "normal" when you walk in the door to our office, and that "normal" has changed by the time you walk out with new hearing aids. Your voice may sound different to you. You might hear footsteps or water running. These things will stand out to you at first, and that's to be expected. After a little while, the brain normalizes the newer sounds and filters them into the background, the same way the brain does for those without hearing loss. It's a learning process, but it will get easier.
Sometimes people who are wearing hearing aids for the first time say they don't like how their voice sounds. We recommend giving it a little time so you have a chance to adjust to it. Quite often your brain gets used to it on its own and any irritation or strangeness just goes away. We can also make some acoustic changes such as adjusting frequencies, in case it's really bothering you and you can't live with it. Some modifications to the ear mold can also help. But if we try to overcompensate on the voice issue during your first appointment, sometimes we can go too far and it won't be as effective as just allowing your brain to adjust on its own time. Let us know if you're having difficulty and we'll work with you to determine whether we should make adjustments or give it time.
First of all, you can't make someone do something they're not ready for. If you push them to get hearing aids and they don't want to, you're all going to wind up frustrated. Instead, we recommend that you try a more positive approach. Find something that the person buys into relative to their hearing loss. Maye they can't hear the TV like they used to, or they're missing out on talking with the grandkids. There's generally something in their life that they wish they'd be able to hear or understand better. Once we figure out what that is, we try to approach it from that perspective. Also, it's important to let them know that we can test their hearing and let them try on demo units without committing to buying anything if they're not ready.
People often have an outdated understanding of what hearing aids are like. They might remember what their grandparent or parent had to deal with. But modern hearing aids have come a long way in design, size, technology, and effectiveness. They're better than ever before. We'll be happy to let you try on a demo pair to see for yourself how far they've come.