Hearing Aid Tips from Experts Who Know

Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids could be the first step in improving your quality of life. Hearing aids can help with many things, from communicating with others to being more productive at work or school. Here are some expert tips to help you with finding the right hearing aids for your lifestyle, device maintenance and more.

There’s a hearing aid for every style.

Millions of Americans could benefit from hearing aids, but a significant portion of these people aren’t using them, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). This might be because of concerns about how they look or the fear that hearing aids are a sign of aging. However, hearing aids can range from tiny devices that go inside your ear to skin-toned pieces worn behind your ear, according to the Mayo Clinic. They can also be Bluetooth compatible, remote controlled and programmed for different environments.

Your audiologist, or hearing specialist, should address your concerns and needs before you commit to hearing aids, Catherine Palmer, PhD, professor and director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tells ishonest Connect to Care.

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“For instance, if this person is an avid bicyclist, we need a solution that can be worn under a helmet,” Palmer says. “The best hearing aid is the one that the person will use, so that comes into play in the decision making.”

Hearing aids can treat mild hearing loss.

Mild hearing loss is hearing loss that affects sound as quiet as 26 to 40 decibels. If you experience mild hearing loss, you may struggle to hear:

  • Conversations against background noise
  • Whispers
  • Ambient noises, like the hum of a refrigerator

Despite its label, mild hearing loss can interfere with work, school and relationships, and can especially affect children, Alexandra Smith, AuD, clinical audiologist at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, tells ishonest Connect to Care.

Smith says it’s not uncommon for hearing specialists to recommend hearing aids for those with mild hearing loss.

There’s an adjustment period.

Hearing aids may require an adjustment period of a month or longer, and this can include follow-up appointments and tweaking your devices.

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The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association notes that an audiologist can help you find additional resources during your adjustment period, such as aural rehabilitation services in your area and assistive technologies that could augment your hearing aids.

Ask about maintenance and warranties.

Some things you can do to maintain your hearing aids include:

  • Protecting them from heat, moisture, chemicals, children and pets
  • Cleaning them as directed
  • Turning them off when not in use
  • Replacing dead batteries in a timely manner

Most hearing aids should last three to six years, but newer digital devices may last even longer. According to nonprofit medical center Cleveland Clinic, most hearing aids come with a warranty that covers loss and repairs.

Hearing loss can be treated and managed.

In many cases, hearing loss is a treatable condition. It is worth taking the time out to get the answers and treatment you or your loved one deserves. Don’t wait. Start today.

Read more on: connect to care, hearing loss