Not everyone does well with their hearing devices, not all hearing aids are created equally. Here are 4 factors which influence the success or failure of wearing hearing aids.
First, how severe is the hearing loss? Some hearing losses are fairly simple and straight forward to fit using today’s improved hearing aid technology. Mild high frequency sensorineural losses come to mind. Other losses can be severe to profound, causing distortion of sound—even with state of the art technology. The brain may no longer be able to process what is being said clearly. Often I’ve heard; “I can hear, I just can’t understand”.
The second issue facing a successful hearing aid fitting is: what product will you decide to invest in? I have told patients for years; “You get what you pay for”. There are wonderful hearing aids on the market right now that folks actually enjoy wearing. These products come from our leading manufactures that have proven over time to produce high quality sound processing as well as reliable durable products which do not need constant repair. These products are not cheap, nor do they come from the internet or big box stores. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Third, who is your person? An audiologist has a minimum of 6-8 years of college training. They have your best interest in mind. An audiologist will work with several brands of devices, ask questions, and listen to your needs to provide you with the best solution for your individual situation instead of assuming one size fits all. A hearing instrument specialist has a minimum of a high school education and basic training, typically based on how to close the sale.
Finally, the most important factor to a successful hearing aid fitting is you. Are you motivated? Do you genuinely want to hear well? Can you put behind you the idea of wearing a device in each ear that people may see? How you look with an untreated hearing loss is much more visible than any hearing aid will ever be.
When it is time for you or a loved one to consider hearing aids remember these factors. You may not be able to control your hearing loss (although you can take steps) but you can seek the advice of a local audiologist who deals with several manufacturers. Take the audiologist’s recommendations—that is why you made the appointment. Decide to accept your hearing loss and move ahead with a positive attitude.