Did you know that, according to some estimates, the average person who experiences hearing impairment will wait five or more years before finally getting fitted out for a hearing aid?
Hearing aids have a bit of a bad rap these days, partly because when many people think of them, they visualise the much bulkier and more obvious hearing aids of decades ago.
Nonetheless, taking the plunge and getting yourself a pair of hearing aids can have a radically positive effect on your quality of life.
Not being able to properly hear what’s going on around you can take a serious toll on your sense of well-being, even if you’re not fully aware of it in each moment. Once you can properly make out the details of conversations again, and don’t get told off for “shouting” in public, you’ll likely feel stunned at just how much more convenient your life is.
Here are a few things to know about getting a hearing aid, so that you’re not caught off guard by any step of the process.
There will be an adjustment period, where your own voice sounds odd
For many people, the sensation of hearing the world through hearing aids is often quite bizarre – at least for a time.
This is natural when you consider the fact that you will likely be hearing things in greater clarity that you have for years, when you first get fitted with your hearing aids.
Among the most common experiences that people report on first getting fitted with a pair of hearing aids, is the sense that their own voices sound strange and unnatural. Rest assured that this sensation will pass with time.
It’s likely better to get a hearing aid sooner rather than later
When you have a significant degree of hearing impairment, and you don’t take steps to address it early on using a hearing aid, the result can be that areas of your brain associated with processing audio signals end up changing and deteriorating in ways that make further hearing loss more of an issue.
Hearing aids aren’t thought to be able to “cure,” or “prevent” hearing loss in and of themselves, but it’s likely to be better for you to get your hearing aids sooner rather than later.
This may be true even just in a more practical sense – why go for years struggling to hear things, when you don’t have to?
Your hearing aid will take a bit of fine tuning and maintenance
Hearing aids are delicate and carefully-calibrated items of equipment, that require plenty of tinkering and fine tuning before they are configured “just right” for your particular needs.
For that reason, you should expect to have several follow-up appointments to “fine tune” your own hearing aids, before they’re working exactly “as intended.”
It’s important that you don’t become disheartened by any hiccups or mishaps you experience in the early days. Those are all kinks to be ironed out with your audiologist.
On top of the fact that your hearing aids will require fine tuning, it’s also worth keeping in mind that they will require a bit of maintenance from your end, too. At the very least, all hearing aid should come with a “cleaning kit,” that you should use on a regular basis.