If you have hearing loss, then hearing aids can be a lifesaver. Not only do they help you connect to the people in your life, but they have been found to improve your mood, mobility, and cognitive performance and increase your everyday safety as you navigate the world. If you are in the market for new hearing aids it can be a big decision. It’s recommended that you wear your hearing aids every day from the time you wake up till you go to sleep, meaning you are going to be spending a lot of time with them. With many models and features, it can be unclear exactly what hearing aids may be just right for you. Fortunately, we are here to help you through the process and help you find the best hearing aids based on your hearing loss and lifestyle needs. Here are the steps to take on the journey to finding the right hearing aids just for you.
Find a qualified hearing professional
There are many over-the-counter hearing aids available these days as well as assistive listening devices. When you choose to go this route with your hearing care you miss an essential part of the hearing aid fitting process. Everyone’s hearing loss is slightly different and when you visit a professional we can give you specialized help every step of the way, with a visual inspection of the ear, a comprehensive hearing exam, and an assessment of your hearing needs based on your lifestyle and professional fitting.
Take a hearing exam
To find out the true ability of your hearing loss we recommend you attend a complete hearing exam. The pure tone audiometry test places you in a soundproof booth and plays different degrees of tones, pitches, and decibel levels through headphones. You will be asked to identify sounds as they are played in each ear to understand the quietest sounds you can detect. We will also test your ability to hear sound and speech in noise. Your results should be clearly explained and displayed via an audiogram which helps you and us understand if you have hearing loss, and to what extent.
Ensure a proper fitting
One of the largest issues with hearing aids you purchase over the counter is that you forgo a custom fitting which will ensure a tight fit, increasing comfort and minimizing the risk of whistling and feedback. When investing in custom-fit hearing aids, an impression is taken of your ear using silicon-based putty. A cast is sent to the manufacturer to create a customized hearing aid “shell” often composed of medical-grade acrylic. When completed these hearing aids should offer optimal comfort and performance, but sometimes a redo is required. Therefore we are here—to ensure that your hearing aids offer the best fit and performance possible.
Explore accessories and apps
Today’s hearing aids come with features that were previously just dreamed for past hearing aid users. This includes directional microphones to help hear better in noise, tinnitus masking features, wind suppression features, music listening settings, Bluetooth connectivity and so much more. Often hearing aids can be controlled via apps compatible wirelessly with most smartphones. Make sure you understand all that your new hearing aids have to offer. We are here to help. We can run through what your hearing aids can do but if you ever need a refresher, we are always just a phone call or email away.
Take the time you need to adapt
Most people wait 7 to 10 years from the time they first suspect they have a hearing loss to take action and seek treatment. When you first start wearing your hearing aids it may be a shock. Sounds you haven’t heard in a decade suddenly come back and it will take time for your brain to reacquaint with these sounds. Even your voice may seem loud. Give it time to adjust. Start by wearing them for only an hour or two in your home at first and over two weeks gradually build up to wearing them all the time. In most patients, once they get used to hearing aids they can’t imagine going back!
Follow up with our team
For your hearing aids to work it requires regular checkups. Hearing ability can change and adjustments to your fit and programming may be helpful down the road. Check-in regularly to get the most out of your investment. Contact us for an updated hearing exam or a hearing aid check today!