Hearing Aids: What to Expect

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Realistic Expectations: Hearing aids work very well when they are fit and adjusted appropriately. All hearing aids should be comfortable with respect to the physical fit and the sound loudness. If there is any discomfort the wearer should return to their audiologist immediately for alterations to provide a comfortable fit. Hearing aids provide the wearer with additional information to help that person to hear and understand better. They do not provide "perfect" hearing.

Getting Used to Hearing Aids: People learn at different rates. Some people need a few days to adjust to their new hearing aids but most need a few weeks. There are some who require several months to make the adjustment. In general, the greater the hearing loss and the longer the hearing loss has been present the more difficult the transition to using hearing aids. There is no perfect way to learn how to adjust to hearing aids. Audiologists are uniquely trained to provide rehabilitative programs that should occur after a hearing aid has been fit.

Background Noise: Virtually everyone, hearing aid users and non-hearing aid users complain about background noise at one time or another. There is no way for a hearing aid to eliminate the sounds that the wearer does not want to hear. The good news is that there are now hearing aid circuits and features available that help to minimize some unwanted sounds. There is a great deal of research that reveals dual microphones effectively reduce background noise for many people with certain types of hearing losses. Your audiologist can help you determine the best circuits and microphone options for your hearing loss and communication needs. The best and most efficient way to reduce background noise is through the use of assistive listening devices such as FM technology. Ask an audiologist how this technology can work with your hearing aid to improve your ability to hear and understanding difficult listening situations.

One vs. Two Hearing Aids: You have two ears because you need two ears. If you have a hearing loss in each ear that could benefit from hearing aids you should wear two hearing aids. Wearing hearing aids binaurally (in each ear) will improve your ability to hear in noisy settings, allow you to localize sounds in your environment, improve the ability to understand speech and give sound a fuller quality.

Fact:
Over 60% of individuals who wear hearing aids are fit binaurally. The benefits of wearing two hearing aids are enhanced ability to (a) hear better in the presence of background noise, (b) determine where sound is coming from, and (c) hear soft sounds at lower levels.