Before you begin a trial period with hearing aids, it’s important to have realistic expectations for how the devices can address your hearing loss. Avoid frustration and discouragement by understanding the level of benefit hearing instruments can and cannot provide. The level of benefit may be unique to each person based on their degree of hearing loss, the type of technology they wear, their lifestyle and how long they waited before they received help for their hearing loss.Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal but they will “aid” your remaining hearing ability. You should expect properly programmed hearing instruments to make:
- Soft sounds audible
- Loud sounds comfortable
- Speech clearer in difficult listening environments
It may take some time to adjust to hearing sounds you haven’t heard in awhile. As the brain begins receiving new auditory input, it might seem a little overwhelming. In fact, your own voice may even sound different to you. Everything may sound different. It is important to stick with it! The brain adapts quickly to once-familiar sounds. Hearing aids can be adjusted by the Audiologist to help you get use to your new hearing and maximize your hearing ability.
Properly programmed hearing instruments do not make all noises louder. Modern technology allows the Audiologist to provide amplification for specific frequencies where your hearing has diminished. These features should help you hear better in noise and understand speech more clearly in noisy environments, but they cannot eliminate background noise. People with normal hearing hear background noise too.
To maximize the benefit of hearing instruments, take ownership of your hearing health. The Audiologist will heavily rely on your perspective for how you are hearing in the various listening environments you encounter. It is very helpful if you can take note of specific situations where you are having difficulty hearing and report this to your Audiologist who can make the proper programming adjustments to accommodate your lifestyle preferences.
Like any worthwhile investment, hearing aids will need proper care and maintenance throughout their life cycle. Wax and debris will need to be removed daily using the tools we supply you. It is also important that you come into our office every 3-4 months for your maintenance appointment so that we can give your hearing aids a more thorough cleaning with our special equipment.
Dr. Shannon Gibbons