So you’re finally ready to invest in your first pair of hearing aids. Congratulations on taking a major step in improving your overall health and enjoyment of life! In preparation, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding what life with hearing aids will be like. Here are five important things to remember:
- It’s going to take some time to adjust to hearing with hearing aids. Exactly how long differs from wearer to wearer, depending on how severe your hearing loss is, how long you have had hearing loss, and other factors. Remember, things will not sound exactly the same as they did when you had 100% of your natural hearing. But they should make speech much easier to hear and understand again, and restore your ability to hear sounds you may not have heard for a long time, like birds chirping.
- You will have to integrate the use and care of your hearing aids into your everyday life. Your hearing care professional will teach you all you need to know as far as putting in/removing your hearing aids, making manual adjustments to volume or environmental settings, changing batteries or recharging, and cleaning. These care and maintenance responsibilities are ongoing for as long as you wear hearing aids, but should soon become routine.
- You may not enjoy everything you can now hear. There were probably some advantages to not being able to hear everything —like your co-worker cracking his knuckles or that teenager on the train popping her bubblegum. These irritating noises are now a part of your life again. It may take a little while for you to get used to them to the point they don’t set your teeth on edge whenever you hear them.
- You’re going to have to get your hearing aids adjusted, and probably more than once. When it comes to the highly-sophisticated hearing aids on the market today, “set them and forget them” is a rarity indeed. You will likely have to visit your hearing care professional at least two or three times for follow-up appointments to make sure your hearing aids are fitting comfortably and doing their job as intended. You’ll probably also need them adjusted louder or softer depending on your experiences wearing them in daily life. Your hearing care professional will address issues such as feedback, replacing lost or damaged earpieces, and repairs due to accidents or common problems, such as earwax buildup. You can limit the need for repeat visits by following the care and maintenance instructions for your hearing aids, but as with any high-tech device it’s unrealistic to think you can avoid service appointments entirely.
- Your hearing aids will not last forever. The average lifespan of a pair of hearing aids is about 5 years, depending on your diligence in keeping them clean and in good repair. But replacing them after a few years isn’t necessarily a bad thing! With all the advances in hearing aid technology going on, by the time 5 years go by you’ll be more than ready to upgrade to the latest offering.
Article created by Siemens.