Medical and surgical solutions to hearing loss are tailored to the specific medical condition diagnosed. Often, these conditions may progress to further complications which is why proper diagnosis is so important. For those with unresolved hearing loss, hearing aids are a wonderful solution.
People with a hearing impairment often wait more than 7 years before actually doing something about their hearing loss. But you don’t have to keep missing out on things. The quicker you do something about your hearing, the quicker you can enjoy better communication with your family, friends and loved ones. Improved communication can lead to a better quality of life. An audiologist can help you pick out one of the best hearing aids that will suit your needs. During your consultation, they can provide you with expert hearing aid reviews while helping you consider hearing aid prices that can fit into your budget.
The ability to communicate is likely to be affected when a person has hearing difficulties. Communication is a basic need for all of us — and what is more fun than hearing the sounds of your loved ones and friends, or listening to music that you enjoy, and fully experiencing the beautiful sounds of life!
Over 30 million Americans of all ages also have a hearing loss as do hundreds of millions of people around the world. On average, 1 out of every 3 individuals aged 65 years and older has significant hearing loss. The National Council on Aging reports that hearing loss negatively impacts quality of life, personal relationships, communication ability, and it can cause depression.
Over the years, hearing aids have evolved into complete communication systems. Although no hearing aid can completely restore an individuals hearing to normal, and first-time wearers might need some time to adjust to their new hearing aids, today’s hearing aids offer outstanding sound quality and comfort while looking exceptionally discreet.
Today’s advanced, ultra-comfortable hearing aids include virtually invisible models that are so small, others may not even notice you are wearing them.
Don’t expect to hear everything. Today’s advanced hearing aids will automatically adjust the volume based upon your hearing loss and the loudness of the sounds within the environment. In most cases, this eliminates the need for volume adjustments by the hearing aid wearer. Many hearing aid styles are available with volume control, if desired. Do not expect to have “Super-Human Hearing.” Even people with “good” hearing cannot hear everything. If your hearing aids are equipped with a volume control, discuss adjusting the volume with your hearing healthcare professional. Remember, turning the volume up too high can result in distorting the sound and can also lead to discomfort.
Hearing aids are made to be worn, on average, 12-16 hours a day. Your hearing aids should become a normal everyday part of your life, similar to wearing glasses or contact lenses. Get up in the morning and put your hearing aids in before beginning your day. At night, take your hearing aids out before going to bed. Some individuals start gradually, wearing their hearing aids a few hours every day and increasing the wearing time over the first month. This will help you get used to your new hearing aids. In the rare instance that you should experience any discomfort when wearing your hearing instrument, consult your hearing healthcare professional.
Adjust to your own voice. Hearing loss also affects how we hear our own voice. If you have a hearing loss, you have not been hearing your voice the way it truly sounds. It is very likely that at first, your voice will sound “different”, or “not normal” and this is to be expected. The more consistently you wear your hearing aids, the better your voice sounds.
Hearing aids are designed to provide you with a greater range of sounds. Encountering all of these “new” sounds may surprise and might even tire you at first.
That is why you should:
Retrain Yourself for More Effective Communication
- Have a positive attitude and be committed to wearing your hearing aids every day. If, at any initial point, you need to take a break, then do so. But come back to wearing your hearing aids as soon as possible.
- Begin with usage at home where you can become accustomed to the sounds and conversation of friends and family in familiar surroundings.
Be an Active Listener
- Your new hearing aids will make it easier to communicate effectively in all situations. However, even people with “good” hearing have to be active listeners and take advantage of speech and environmental cues in order to understand in many situations. Everyone will hear and follow conversation better when they concentrate and learn to ignore or suppress unwanted sounds.
- When you first start wearing your hearing aids, you may be aware of many sounds around you that you do not recognize. These are the sounds of daily life that you have not heard in a long time — if ever — depending on the extent of your hearing loss. Try to identify sounds you don’t recognize, and make a conscious decision to ignore the ones that are unimportant.
Using the telephone for effective communication is extremely important. There are a number of different ways to improve understanding while using a telephone.
- Most hearing aids today have special circuitry to help cancel or minimize feedback (annoying whistling), allowing you to use the telephone without any special switches or equipment.
- Your hearing aid may also have a telecoil which can be used with both land line and cellular phones.
- Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) can also provide connections between your hearing aids and telephones, FM systems, computers, MP3 players and more.
We live in an increasingly noisy world. Your hearing aids will reintroduce you to many sounds you may have forgotten, such as the ticking of a clock, the beeps of a coffee maker or microwave oven, the chirping of birds and a child’s high-pitched voice. With time, you will learn how to focus on what you want to hear and “tune out” the rest.
Restaurants, theaters, houses of worship, conference rooms and other public places can be challenging for the hearing aid wearer. Sit where listening conditions are best — look closely at your environment and choose wisely. Be sure to sit where you have an unobstructed view of the speaker. In a restaurant, try to sit away from doorways, restrooms or the kitchen.
Concentrate on trying to follow the overall meaning rather than each individual word. Even people with “good” hearing miss some parts of conversations on the radio or TV.
Normal hearing is more than just receiving sound. There’s depth and localization. There are nuances to the color of sound that can only be appreciated with hearing in two ears. All mammals have binaural hearing.
With a hearing loss in both ears, it makes sense to wear two hearing aids. When compared to hearing with just one ear, a person can hear sounds from both sides, hear sounds fuller with better clarity, and understand speech better.