Hearing loss often develops slowly over time, meaning many people go for years struggling to hear conversations and turning the TV volume up higher and higher.
But things needn’t be this way. Hearing problems could be radically improved by a simple, discreet hearing aid, packed full of the very latest technology. If you’re thinking about taking the leap and buying your first hearing aid, here are seven things you need to know:
1. They really do make a difference
Studies have shown that hearing aids help slow the progress of hearing loss. However, while hearing aids will unquestionably improve your hearing sensitivity, they cannot reverse your hearing loss.
2. Let your ears adjust
Wearing hearing aids take some getting used to. You’ll probably notice that sounds appear louder and more intense than normal. This is because of the increase in both the volume and range of frequencies entering your ears, so your brain needs to adjust. At first, be sure to take short breaks from your hearing aids, keep the volume low and start by wearing your hearing aids in quieter environments before moving on to louder situations.
3. You might need to practice
Getting the best out of your hearing aids can take practice and commitment, so make sure you wear them every day. Even if it’s just a few hours a day at first, you’ll start to appreciate the difference they make and you’ll be more inclined to wear them longer. Almost all hearing aids are designed to be worn all day, from morning to night. You’ll soon feel the benefit.
4. The ‘echo chamber’ effect soon disappears
Many hearing aid wearers report a slight echo, making their own voice sound different. This effect wears off as your brain and hearing adjust to the hearing aid. If it persists, ask your hearing care professional to take a look and reconfigure your hearing aid.
5. Hearing aids are designed to be comfortable
Your new hearing aid should be easy to wear for long periods of time, and it shouldn’t make your ears sore or tender. Equally, there should be no whistling noises – and only very quietly if there are. If your hearing aid is causing you discomfort or making unwanted noises, contact your Hearing Care Partnership audiologist to make the required adjustments.
6. You’ll notice sounds that had previously faded into the background
Your hearing aid is a finely tuned piece of equipment, and it will pick up quiet sounds that you might have almost forgotten about. From the mundane hum of the fridge to the gentle sounds of nature, it’s all part of the process of rediscovering your hearing. Don’t worry if they seem excessively loud – your ears will soon adjust.
7. Everyone is different
Remember, your experience with hearing aids will be different to your friends’ experiences: no two people will be the same. From sound quality to the time taken to adjust to wearing them, hearing aids are different for everyone. Try to avoid comparing your ‘progress’ to others. Simply take your time and focus on making your hearing aids work for you.
Talk to your local branch of The Hearing Care Partnership
Getting a hearing aid is a big decision, but it’s almost always the right decision. The first step is to visit a hearing care professional for a full hearing assessment and advice on the best hearing aid for your individual hearing loss.
Visit your nearest branch of The Hearing Care Partnership for a free hearing test. You can also book your appointment online.