Hearing loss is a leading chronic health condition in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, 15% of US adults over the age of 18 report some trouble hearing. Among older adults, that number increases exponentially. One-third of adults over 65 experience hearing loss, while that proportion climbs to one-half of Americans over 75 reporting hearing loss.
Despite the prevalence of difficulty hearing and the fact that we almost universally acknowledge that healthy hearing is important, people can hesitate in deciding to intervene in hearing loss with hearing aids. We know that hearing aids are considered highly successful by people who do choose to treat their hearing loss, resulting in easier communication and improved relationships with loved ones.
It might simply be that we, as a society, need a little more education around deciding upon and selecting the hearing aids that work best for us. There is a lot of information out there and because the hearing aid industry has made incredible advancements over the past decades, there are so many new options to choose from! It can be a little overwhelming at times.
If you’re choosing to treat hearing loss with hearing aids, congratulations! You’re taking a proactive step in addressing hearing loss. Below are some tips that can help you navigate new territory and land on your most successful outcome.
Get a current and expert diagnosis
Hearing loss can be incredibly difficult to self-diagnose, because its effects can be so subtle. A test with an audiologist is a reliable way to see your degree of hearing loss, if any. They will perform a simple and painless examination and help you understand your results.
A good and recent examination can also help guide you in selecting the best hearing aid for you. Some hearing aids are only suitable for specific types of hearing loss, which is only knowable once you’ve had your hearing tested.
Trust in Us
Audiologists are highly trained medical professionals who focus on hearing health and communication disorders. Beyond their years of academic study, they bring a wealth of knowledge from their experience practicing in the world. They’ve helped many, many people experience better hearing already. To find a good audiologist near you, use a quick google search to locate practices in your area. Survey friends and family to see if they can share an audiologist they’ve liked or would recommend.
Ask your questions
Feel free to express hesitations, questions or concerns to our team. We are experts in our field and are eager to help you understand the ins and outs of hearing aids and your hearing health.
There can be anxiety during your hearing consultation, so don’t feel embarrassed to write out your burning questions and concerns before your appointment and bring them along. If they aren’t addressed organically throughout your interaction with us, you can make sure they won’t be forgotten by consulting your list before ending your appointment.
Bring a friend
Having a friend or family member by your side can be a balm during your hearing aid exploration. It’s great to have the emotional support of someone you love as you experiment with new territory and they can help you feel confident during your consultation. They can also be helpful to act as a sounding board for decisions because they know you and your lifestyle well and can reflect that back honestly to you. Hey, we all want to think we’re tech gurus but the honest answer is that sometimes we’d benefit from a less techy hearing aid option.
Define your priorities
There is a wide range of options available in the hearing aid market. Being honest about your desires and needs around your enhanced hearing, and taking your own personal preferences into account can be helpful. While adding a lot of bells and whistles to your wish list might be tempting, if you are seeking simplified communication then perhaps you want to abstain.
Some folks are intrigued and motivated by new tech and advanced capabilities are truly thrilling and worth the investment! If that’s true of you, then you’ll want to explore a range of models that are at the expert level of technological intricacy.
Inquire about warranties
Many manufacturers produce many types of hearing aids and the warranties on these products differ. As you weigh your options, take into account that a generous warranty might save you dollars and hassle down the road. Like all devices and machines, even hearing aids need care and regular maintenance.
Invest time in ongoing education
There is absolutely an adjustment period that comes with learning to live with hearing aids. Like all new behaviors, one of the most important ingredients is time. Beyond your initial purchase, you should expect to set aside a certain amount of time for second fittings and ongoing training on how to incorporate hearing aid best practices into your new, enhanced hearing life. The time you spend will be well worth it as you find more ease and better communication in every facet of your world.