1. Getting used to hearing aids
Most people gradually lose their hearing over the course of time. On average, people experience hearing difficulties for 5-7 years before seeking help. So it may have been some time since a person has heard certain sounds, such as birds chirping, road noises, or the hum of a fan. Once someone purchases a hearing aid, an adjustment period is needed to become comfortable hearing all of these wonderful sounds again. Some people begin wearing new hearing aids for a couple of hours each day, and then gradually increase the amount of time they are worn, rather than wearing them all day immediately. Most people require a minimum of 45 days to adjust to hearing aids, which is why we offer the industry's longest 50 Day Money Back Return Policy. We want you to be patient with yourself as you get used to your new hearing aids. Remember, it's going to take time for all the sounds around you to sound normal with your new hearing aids.
2. One’s own voice will sound different
Along with other peoples’ voices and environmental sounds, hearing aids amplify one’s own voice. Therefore, one’s own voice may sound different, sometimes described as 'boomy' or 'echoey'. This difference is also part of the adjustment period. It may be hard to believe at the beginning, but often in time hearing aid wearers prefer the way their voice sounds when heard thru the hearing aids.
3. Hearing aids are not “new ears”
Most people with hearing loss have a permanent type of loss that affects their nerve endings. Hearing aids cannot correct this permanent damage—they cannot restore a person’s hearing to normal in the same way that eyeglasses restore sight. Instead, hearing aids simply provide assistance to help one hear sounds better.
4. The clarity vs. loudness issue
Hearing aids are designed to amplify sounds, thereby making sounds easier to hear. For most people, this increase in volume also increases the ability to understand speech. However, most people living with hearing loss have lost some of their ability to discern similar sounding words, like 'peach' 'teach' and 'beach' making it impossible to hear speech perfectly clear. Unfortunately this means that even if a sound is loud enough, the sound is not always clear enough and therefore not easily understood. People adjusting to hearing aids will often see improvements in there speech clarity over the first 4-12 months as the brain becomes re-familiarized with the new information and learns to comprehend the new sound stimuli in the most effective way. Remember, expect improvement, not perfection.
5. Utilize communication strategies
As mentioned earlier, hearing aids do not restore hearing to normal. It is unrealistic to think that one will be able to hear everything that everyone is saying, even with hearing aids. Therefore, utilizing other communication strategies is recommended. When possible minimize sound distractions when communicating. Mute the volume on the TV when you converse in the living room. When you go to restaurants try to sit in a spot that minimizes the amount of noise coming from behind and beside you. It's better to sit around the perimeter of a restaurant rather than the middle of the room. Whenever possible, communicate face to face, and minimize the distance between yourself and the person you are talking with.
6. Help from friends and family
Hearing loss poses difficulties for the hard of hearing person as well as their normally hearing friends and family members. Once a person is getting help from hearing aids, he or she should ask for help from the people they are communicating with. Ask people to speak from the same room, get one’s attention before speaking, and eliminate distracting noise (i.e. TV, water running in the sink, radio). A little assertiveness can go along way in minimizing frustration through improved communication.
7. Have realistic expectations
Remember, in a noisy restaurant or at a party, most people, even those with normal hearing, cannot hear perfectly. At the movies, some dialogue is missed by normal hearing people. People shouldn’t expect to hear everything perfectly, or they will be disappointed. Focus on improvement and your commitment to wear your hearing aids. Part-time hearing aid wearers will not achieve the same benefits or level of satisfaction as full-time wearers. If you have hearing loss in both ears, make a plan or a commitment to eventually wear hearing aids in both ears. Try and focus on the benefits of amplification rather than the negatives. You may not like everything you hear, but at least you are hearing things that you have been missing. You may wish you could hear perfectly in all listening environments, but at least your hearing better in most. A positive attitude can go along way as you begin your journey to better hearing.
We've attached a booklet below that we've used with clients for many years. This booklet provides some really useful information that both new and experienced hearing aid users will find beneficial. Simply click on the booklet below.
How does one care for a hearing aid?
Hearing aids should be kept dry and protected from excessive temperatures. The leading causes of hearing aid repairs are earwax, which gets caught in the hearing aid, and moisture from humidity or perspiration. Many problems can be avoided if simple care and maintenance instructions are followed.
When caring for your aid, it is recommended that you handle it over a soft surface to minimize the risk of damage by dropping it. Wipe the outer shell or your hearing aid with a dry tissue or cloth after each wearing. Do NOT use alcohol, water, or other solutions to clean the aid. Clean any wax from the bud that goes inside of your ear. Earbuds can be removed and cleaned with soapy water when needed, just ensure that they are completely dry before putting back on hearing aids. The tube that connects the SmartAid, SmartAid Digital and SmartAid Digital Premium can be removed and blown out or snaked out with a tube cleaner. Check the sound opening of the aid daily to make sure it is clear of wax. When your not wearing your hearing aids it’s recommended that the battery door is kept open, to conserve battery life and to air out the hearing aids electronic components. In the evenings it's recommended that you store your hearing aids inside of a dry-aid kit to draw any accumulated moisture out of the hearing aids while you sleep.