When you first get a hearing aid to treat hearing loss, you may have some preconceived notions. You might think that wearing a new hearing aid is like getting new glasses.
But there are many differences between them. When you understand how hearing aids are not like glasses, you get more out of your new hearing experience.
1. There’s no “Restoring 20/20” in hearing
When you get glasses, your optometrist’s goal is to restore your vision to perfect, if at all possible. And often, this is possible. But hearing is different.
Hearing aids work phenomenally at restoring sound and clarity in your environment. But they aren’t restoring perfect hearing. Some sounds may seem louder than others. The settings will, among other things, allow you to hear well close up while diminishing background noise.
Some sounds may still sound distorted. Sounds you didn’t hear before, like a refrigerator hum, may suddenly be crystal clear.
2. They need adjustment
With glasses, you can put them on. Instantly your vision is improved. You don’t twist any knobs to enhance the picture. Hearing aids work differently. You can fine-tune the way sound reaches your ear.
When you’re in a restaurant, you want to hear the server and the person you’re dining with. You’re less interested in the conversation in the booth behind you or the music overhead. You can adjust your hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in this setting.
When you’re going for a walk on a busy sidewalk or road, it’s more important that you hear approaching cars, people, and signals. You can adjust your hearing aid, so you hear the world around you.
3. Hearing aids take a little getting used to
There’s rarely a learning curve with glasses. When someone with hearing loss first gets a new hearing aid, however, they will find that it takes a little time to get used to it. You’ll learn how to make those adjustments we discussed earlier.
As you encounter a new situation with your hearing aid, you’ll learn which settings work best for you. Like anything, practice makes perfect. Within a short time, you’ll be a pro. As you perfect your use of the settings, you’ll be glad you have a hearing aid.
4. They need batteries
Aren’t you glad that your glasses don’t need batteries? However, your hearing aid will need them. This will be an ongoing expense. Fortunately, there are some easy to apply tips we can offer to help you extend the life of your batteries.
- Don’t remove the plastic tab until ready to use.
- Store them at normal room temperature. Putting them in the freezer doesn’t work on hearing aid batteries.
- Wash your hands before touching batteries. Hand oils shorten their lives.
- Let your battery sit for one minute after removing the tab.
- Turn the hearing aid off when not in use.
5. They may squeal
Your glasses are as silent as a mouse, but a hearing aid can make noises. Sometimes these noises can be sudden and jolting. As you learn to adjust them more efficiently, you’ll find the squealing less frequent.
6. They can’t get wet
It’s not a big deal if you wear your glasses while swimming or bathing. Hearing aids, however, shouldn’t get wet. The delicate electronics and battery will corrode. Like cell phones, some models are water-resistant, but that doesn’t mean you can soak them in the tub. Regardless of the manufacturer’s claims, you’ll want to protect your hearing aids from excessive moisture exposure.
7. They’re easier to lose
Glasses are much larger than hearing aids. If you misplace them, you can usually feel around for them. Or a friend can help you find them. Hearing aids today are tiny. They’re much easier to lose. A dog might even think it’s a dog treat! Because of this, it’s essential to keep your hearing aid in its case when you’re not wearing it.
As you can see, there are many ways that hearing aids aren’t like glasses. Both have their quirks and needs. By understanding these differences, you can get so much more out of your hearing aid.