Getting hearing aids for the first time is an intensely individual process that must be customized to each patient. To get the most out of your hearing aids, it’s important to prepare for each step of the way and to work with a qualified hearing care professional.
Here are the essential steps to prepare for your new hearing aids:
Prepare for your appointment
At your hearing test, your hearing care professional tests your hearing, studies the results, and helps you conclude whether or not hearing aids are right for you. It’s important that you bring a list of questions to your appointment to review with your hearing care professional.
Make sure to ask these and any other questions you have on your mind:
What kind of hearing loss do I have? Is it mild, moderate, severe, or profound?
Could hearing aids help in my case—should I get them for both ears?
Which hearing aid is best for me? How do I balance cost with features I want?
What are the financing options for hearing aids? (Installment plans, private insurance, credit, state programs, etc.)
After Your Hearing Test
You may not need hearing aids if your hearing tests come back normal; these test results become a helpful the baseline for any future tests, however.
If the results indicate you have hearing loss, you may well benefit from hearing aids. Your hearing care professional should discuss all of this with you in depth.
When selecting hearing aids, be sure to discuss the following items:
Programmability – most hearing aids are digitally programmable to match the specifications of your individual hearing loss profile. This is really very important; don’t let anyone try to sell you a hearing out of the box without customizations, or it probably won’t work right.
Style – hearing aids come in a wide variety of sizes and styles: some models sit behind the ear to models that fit entirely within the ear canal. It’s up to you how you want to balance price, ease-of-use, functionality, and aesthetics in making your decision.
Wireless connectivity – several hearing aid models can connect wirelessly to most compatible smartphones. This enables you to adjust volume and settings discreetly, send phone calls directly to your hearing aids, and even stream your favorite music without any wires or a separate hearing aid remote control.
Advanced features – some hearing aids come equipped with additional advanced features, like directional microphones to enhance speech, background noise reduction, environmental settings, and telecoils for clearer phone calls. Keep in mind that these features may cost extra, so balance your needs with your budget when making that decision.
This may all seem confusing, but your hearing care professional is trained to help guide you through the decision-making process. Of course, if someone tries to rush or steer you to a decision without addressing your questions, that should be a red flag.
Bringing your new hearing aids home
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, just understand that you won’t just love your hearing aids right away. 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, do try your best 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 struggle with your first few days of hearing aids, just remember: Your hearing aids can be adjusted! If you continue to have difficulty hearing or adapting to the new sound, 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.
Pro Tip: make adjusting to your hearing aids 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 period of adjustment, you’ll be prepared to enjoy the all the benefits of better hearing. If you have any other questions about hearing aids, or the process of acquiring them, give us a call!