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Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2015

Finding Greater Satisfaction with Your Hearing Aids!

Many people with hearing loss who get hearing aids find they are suddenly overwhelmed with sound. They quickly tire from trying to hear too much for too long. They become dissatisfied with their hearing aids and stop using them. Now a new study has shown a little support, slowing down, and realistic expectations can make all the difference in hearing aid satisfaction.

People with hearing loss can become conditioned to silence. Not hearing little whirs and clicks of everyday life means the return of that sound can seem too loud, even overwhelming. According to an article on Science Daily, "a University of Missouri researcher has developed an intervention that helps older adults gradually increase their hearing-aid use and satisfaction with the devices." The study has shown that some basic support and simple rules can help people with hearing aids. People Hearing Better has long promoted similar strategies for successful hearing aid use. Try these three rules for greater satisfaction with your hearing aids.

Slow and Steady: Your brain, like your body with running, needs to work up to long distance listening. People often make the mistake of trying to use their hearing aids all day long. That's more likely to cause dissatisfaction. Use your hearing aids for a short time to begin with and gradually build from there. As Kari Lane, quoted on Science Daily, observed, "Hearing aids are not an easy fix to hearing loss. Unlike glasses, which provide instant results, it takes more time for the brains of hearing-aid users to fully adjust to the aids and new sounds they could not hear before." Set a goal, a definite amount of time that you will wear your hearing aids every day. Increase that time every few days. If you do this consistently, one day you will realize that you have worn your hearing aid all day and never once thought of taking them off!

Adjust, Adjust, Adjust: Hearing aids are not a product that can be slipped on out of a box with no adjustments. Learning what feels comfortable to you can take a little time. Pay attention to what is bothering you. Write down what the problem is. Bring these issues up to your audiologist. Most every audiologist offers free adjustments, so take your doctor up on this offer! This is your hearing. It is so important to your whole body health, and is worth your time and effort to get the adjustments right.

Have Realistic Expectations: As the Better Hearing Institute notes, “There is a common misconception that hearing aids are the "cure all" for hearing loss. In reality, improving communication involves a long-term rehabilitative process in which the hearing aid is only part. As such, you should enter into this rehabilitative process with realistic goals. Know what to expect from the hearing aid and your hearing health provider.”

Today’s hearing aid technology can provide necessary relief from the silence of hearing loss, helping to avoid serious complications of untreated hearing loss—dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression. Don’t give up on your hearing aids. Seek help from your audiologist to get adjustments that can make your experience with your hearing aid more positive.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

REFERENCES

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Hearing-aid intervention helps individuals gradually adjust to devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150120155118.htm (accessed February 5, 2015).

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