According to research, 15% of Americans report having trouble hearing. Yet, only 30% of individuals older than 70 and 16% of those younger than 70, who would benefit from a hearing aid, are wearing them. They aren’t wearing their hearing aids despite the many studies showing the tremendous benefits of wearing them. They aren’t wearing them despite the increased health risks for those who don’t. Perhaps they would wear them if they knew some simple solutions for common hearing aid problems.
Maybe you’re struggling to convince yourself to wear an assistive hearing device.
What if these simple solutions could reconnect your world to the peace of mind clear hearing brings? Wouldn’t you want to learn about them.
The following tips may provide the solutions you need to alleviate your hearing aid problems and realize the many proven benefits of wearing them.
“They don’t fit correctly.”
If your hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly, it won’t be comfortable and won’t provide a desirable listening experience.
Don’t let an improper fit deter you from wearing hearing aids. Sometimes, simply changing the tube or ear mold will vastly improve your experience. If your hearing aid has a wire, it may be too long. Or the tip and filter may need replacing. These are all low-cost fixes that make all the difference both in comfort and how well you are able to hear.
Everyone’s ear is unique and some people are more sensitive to certain parts of the device. If something doesn’t feel right about your hearing aid, ask your hearing specialist to adjust it.
“I’m too embarrassed to wear them.”
Maybe you’re not wearing your hearing aid because you think it makes you seem older or less independent. You should realize that modern hearing aids are technologically-advanced and fashionably discreet. Most of the time, no one will see them unless they’re looking really closely at your ears.
Because these devices can sync up with smartphones, computer tablets, TVs and other electronic devices, the public perception of them has changed. People now view them as an extension of their electronic devices, not something to be embarrassed about.
Hearing aids support an active lifestyle and have been shown to help people stay more active and social. People who wear their hearing aids see improvements in their relationships, their health, and their happiness.
Wearing hearing aids doesn’t close doors on your social life, it opens them and helps you stay connected with friends and family members.
“I can’t figure out how to use them.”
“How do I replace the batteries?” “What’s the right setting for this room?” “Can you show me how to stream music from my smartphone to my hearing aids again?”
We all struggle with new technology. Just remember it’s never easy to learn something new. Individuals who make things look easy have done one thing you haven’t. That’s practice, and practice makes perfect. So be patient with yourself. Take it one step at a time, and stay committed to learning how to use your hearing aids.
In a matter of months, you’ll be making it look easy.
“I forget to wear them.”
Wearing hearing aids will eventually become a habit. In the beginning, however, you’ll need reminders to help you remember to put them on in the morning.
Consistency is very important when wearing hearing aids. They contain a type of technology called machine learning. A complex, but tiny, computer in your hearing device learns from your surroundings. It then adjusts itself to help you hear at your best in each environment you find yourself in. Just as a child needs consistent correction and positive reinforcement to learn, hearing aids require consistency. If you’re not wearing them, they aren’t learning what they need to do to help you hear more clearly.
Additionally, your brain needs time to adapt to listening while wearing hearing aids. If your hearing loss becomes severe before getting hearing aids, your brain has already begun to “unlearn” how to hear and understand sounds and speech.
Wearing them consistently, everywhere you go each day, helps retrain your brain to hear more clearly. You can expedite this process by using the exercises found on our Hearing Loss page.
The length of time it takes to retrain your brain depends on how long you waited to get hearing aids after experiencing hearing loss. It could take a few months or close to a year.
Even if it takes a year, your hearing will improve each day you wear your hearing aids.
“They’re not working like they originally did.”
Maybe you were happy with your hearing aids, but they’re no longer working as well as they did when you first purchased them. Similar to a car, sometimes hearing aids develop problems and require a tune-up. Have a hearing specialist inspect them and fine-tune their performance.
If you’re not wearing your hearing aids…
These tips should help solve your hearing aid problems. See what works for you. If you’re still struggling, don’t struggle alone. Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist as soon as possible to improve your listening experience.