How To Navigate (Yourself and Your Loved Ones) to Better Hearing
By Dr. Shekinah Mast, Audiologist
Hearing aids are the main treatment option for anyone experiencing mild to severe hearing loss. They help amplify sound, so it reaches your ears more easily and makes speech easier to understand in noisy situations. Modern digital technology allows you to customize your hearing aid settings according to each listening situation – whether you’re talking on the phone or sitting down at a restaurant dinner table with friends. And newer models often come equipped with advanced features like Bluetooth connectivity and directional microphones.
Hearing loss can be an overwhelming experience to go through, although it’s made easier and more straightforward with the help of an audiologist. During the process, hearing aids will be brought up. If it’s your first experience with the devices, it’s natural to feel a bit confused. You’ll likely have a few questions and want to know a few things. By finding out what you need to know about hearing devices, you make the process much simpler for you.
How Long Do Hearing Aids Last
Hearing aids should last for quite some time, with manufacturers claiming they’ll last for about five years. The exact lifespan of a hearing aid will vary from option to option, however. It’s worth asking your audiologist about any options you’re considering.
How well you take care of your hearing aids also matters. You’ll need to clean them regularly and spend time looking after them. If you don’t, they can get damaged by dirt or condensation, which drastically reduces their lifespans. Finding out how to take care of your hearing aids is vital, making it worth asking your audiologist about this. While this takes time, the effort is worth it, as your hearing aids shouldn’t need to be replaced anytime soon.
Types Of Hearing Aids
Choosing which hearing aids, you get will be a significant choice. Before doing this, you’ll need to know what your options are. There are various styles available, including behind the ear, in the ear and in the canal. Each offers their pros and cons, which are worth speaking with your audiologist about.
Digital hearing aids, offer more customization with their settings and volume. As a general rule, the more advanced digital hearing aids become, the more situations they can support. While they’re more advanced, the adjustability and ease of use can be worth the extra time, to get the right hearing aids for you and your needs.
Where To Get Them
Where to get your hearing aids is one of the larger decisions you’ll need to make. An audiologist is the most commonly recommended option, as they’re a cost-effective and high-quality way to address your hearing-related needs. They can help you understand your condition and potential management paths.
There are many options out there, and audiologists can then work with you to make sure that you are happy with your choice of selection, and they can also help you to reap the benefits. An audiologist will start with learning more about you:
- What Are Your Preferences? You have to remember that people tend to have different preferences, and all of this can impact your hearing aid selection. Do you want completely visible hearing aids? Maybe you want something that is large enough to pick out a brighter color and really show off your style.
- Have You Worn A Hearing Aid Before? It’s so important that you consider any previous experience that you might have had when choosing your new hearing aid. If you loved your last set of hearing aids, then you need to think about why. You also need to think about whether you liked the hearing quality or the style. (And as you adjust, or if you experience a problem hearing with your newer hearing aid, then it is vital that you talk to your audiologist about this, as they can work with you to ensure that your needs are met.)
Choosing Your Hearing Aid
When you have talked about all of your needs with your professional, you will be given a recommended set of options. You will also be able to wear a demo hearing aid as this will show you the volume levels you’ll be able to pick up on. When you are content with your decision, you can then tell your audiologist and they will order your selection for you. Depending on the hearing aid you have chosen, your audiologist may take a mold of your ears for you.
When this is done, you can expect to have your hearing aid made according to your exact requirements. You have to remember that the right hearing and the right fitting will help you to enjoy your aid with confidence, and it will also help you to enjoy lively conversations too. Your audiologist will always support you with any questions that you may have, and they can also work with you to make sure that you are happy with your choice.
Choosing Your Audiologist
You should be informed before picking which audiologist you work with, including checking their:
- Access to Technology
Doing so will ensure you make a smart decision and choose the best audiologist for you. Though it could be a time-consuming process, it’ll save you time and hassle in the long run. As you could end up visiting them regularly and for quite some time, it’s worth ensuring you’re comfortable with your choice.
Hearing aids can often seem overwhelming, especially considering the hearing loss you’ll be experiencing. They’re far from as complicated as you could think, however. Keeping a few particular things in mind and finding out each of the above will make things simpler.so work with you to make sure that you are happy with your choice.
Other Articles in this series:
Part 1: Understanding Hearing Loss
Part 2: Hearing Loss, an Unseen Impact and Facing Your First Hearing Test
Part 3: Tinnitus, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Mast Audiology Services provides comprehensive diagnostic hearing testing, ear wax removal, and hearing aid consultations, fittings, maintenance and care. They offer a wide range of products and technologies, with multiple service package options and financing for hearing aid purchases.
Dr. Mast has become known for her heart to put her patients and their needs first, with a goal of being able to improve patients’ hearing and communication and, ultimately, their quality of life. For her, it’s rewarding to see the life-changing impact in a patient’s life.