You use your sense of hearing constantly. So when it seems like it might be fading, the situation can be overwhelming. You might not know how to get a hearing test done or what you should do if you lose your hearing. But while it is a scary and uncertain time, there are resources that can help you. Audiologists in the area can tell you which steps to take in getting testing and treatment. Audiologists are trained in dealing with hearing loss, so it is something they see every day. They can help with compassion, but also experience and objectivity.
If you think you might need audiology therapy, you should talk to your primary care doctor first. They can tell you what is involved in a hearing test, as well as connect you with the specialists who can help. If you have signs of hearing loss, you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can. While you might not be able to stop it, you can get the treatment and support you need in order to live a full life.
Have you recently taken steps to deal with your hearing loss? At least one out of every three people who are over 65 years old experience some level of hearing loss and could benefit from using hearing aids. No one wants to admit that they have any hearing loss and as a consequence, about 15 million people in the United States alone ignore their hearing loss and do not get any help for it. The average time people wait to seek out help for hearing loss is seven years.
1. Do not expect them to feel right at first.
It is hard to get used to having something on your head or in your ear. If you wear glasses, you know they took some getting used to. Think of hearing aids as being similar to that. Even if you get the tiniest hearing aids, they are still foreign objects in your ears. It is totally normal for them to feel like they do not belong where you place them.
2. Try them in a quiet setting first.
It can be hard to tell if your hearing aids correct if you start out using them in a busy and noisy space. When you first get your hearing aids in a quiet area of your home. This is how you start getting used to hearing noises you may not have been able to hear for quite some time. Listen to the birds outside, a car driving by your home, or the tick-tock of your grandfather clock. Now, if you live in a busy city like New York or Chicago, finding a quiet spot may be harder but starting out using your digital hearing aids in a quiet place will help your transition.
Pay attention to problems you notice with your hearing aids. If after a few days or a week wearing the hearing aids, you are still having issues, say some normal noises are bothering you, mention these issues when you have your follow-up appointment with the expert in assistive listening devices. They may need to make some adjustments.
3. Do not wear them all the time when you first get them.
Getting used to wearing hearing aids can be easier if you start out slowly. When you first get them, wear them for a few hours a day at the most. You should work up to a point where you wear your hearing aids all the time when you are awake but no one expects you to do this the first few days that you have your hearing aids. Not only do you have to get used to the feel of having the hearing aids on your head but your brain has to get reacquainted with many sounds and noises. The more you wear them, the faster you can get used to the new (to you) noises and sounds.
4. Try to not play with the settings.
It may be hard to stop yourself, you will want to play around with the volume on your hearing aids, but you should try to leave them alone as much as you can. Most hearing aids adjust automatically to new and different situations. When you go from one to another, it should make any needed adjustments. Try to let the device do its thing before you make any manual adjustments to your equipment. Remember, your hearing aids are not spy devices. There are often noises that are far away and not audible by even the best hearing, you should not expect your hearing aids to make superhero hearing possible.
5. Practice wearing them in groups.
People often have many problems hearing conversations in groups. Practice using your hearing aids in these situations. It will take some time but soon, you should find yourself enjoying these interactions more and more. Using “active listening” techniques can help with this process.
It is unfortunate that so many people wait to get their hearing tested. Many people have outdated ideas about what hearing aids and hearing aid batteries look like. The unfortunate part is that hearing well has a direct impact on a person’s quality of life.