For those who are new to hearing aids, the rehabilitation process may seem daunting. Understanding what to expect before, during and after you have purchased your first pair of hearing devices is key to long-term success.
Before Purchasing Hearing Aids
There are many hearing aid styles made by a number of manufacturers. In order to determine which device is right for you, your audiologist will conduct a series of hearing assessments. The most common hearing tests are:
- Pure-Tone Testing
- Speech Testing
- Tests of the Middle Ear
- Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
- Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
The results from these tests will confirm your type and degree of hearing loss, information that is crucial to the hearing aid selection process.
In addition to your type of hearing loss, your audiologist will also consider your budgetary constraints and lifestyle needs.
Immediately Following a Hearing Aid Purchase
There is an adjustment period when wearing hearing aids; don’t expect to hear perfectly as soon as they are turned on.
What to expect
Expect your voice to sound different. Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds, including your voice.
Expect your audiologist to work with you to manage your expectations. Hearing aids will not restore your hearing; they are a tool to help you hear better. While hearing aids will drastically improve your hearing, you may still have trouble in certain situations with a lot of background noise such as at a restaurant or party.
Expect comfortable and well-fit hearing aids. Wearing your hearing aids during all waking hours is crucial to your success, as your brain needs time to learn to process the new sounds. Your audiologist understands that patients will not comply with their directions if the devices cause soreness or pain. During your initial fitting visit, your audiologist will work with you to get the right fit.
After the Adjustment Phase
Follow-up care is required for patients at Total Hearing Care of Dallas. A 2019 study examined survey data from a sample of people insured by Medicare, the national health program for the elderly and disabled. Almost 11 percent of participants in the study used a hearing aid, but only one-third of those participants utilized follow-up hearing care services.
Lead study author Amber Willink explained,
“The concern is that for individuals with hearing aids who do not get hearing care services, they may continue to have suboptimal hearing outcomes, or become frustrated with their hearing aid and not use it as often or at all.”
Hearing care services include those directed at supporting the hearing aid, such as fitting, customization, maintenance and necessary repairs,” Willink continued. “They also include services that support the individual through counseling for coping with hearing loss, communication techniques for managing difficult listening situations, and managing expectations about the hearing aid.”
Understanding what to expect from your hearing aid journey can yield superior results. Contact Total Hearing Care of Dallas to schedule an appointment to start your own journey today.