Most people are happy with their hearing aids: 91% of hearing aid wearers are satisfied with the hearing aid experience when speaking one-on-one, according to a recent survey. When speaking about specific activities, 85% are satisfied in a group setting and watching TV, 78% while shopping, and 75% in a restaurant or on the phone.
These are some spectacularly positive numbers for an intricate device like a hearing aid. But we have to ask, what are the other 9%, 15%, and 25% experiencing? What makes them less satisfied with their hearing devices?
Let’s explore the good and the bad things people have to say about their hearing aid experience. Spoiler alert! Most of the bad stuff can be easily fixed.
If you love your hearing aid, this article we make you love it even more. If you’re not as happy with it as you’d like to be, we’ll explore what to do about it.
1. I feel more connected
People who have had their hearing restored with a hearing aid often feel reconnected with those around them. They have more energy. They feel like they can better participate and stay active.
They find their days filled with less frustration over their inability to hear. They feel less exhausted because they don’t have to work so hard to understand what others are saying.
People are often happiest when they feel connected to others and their world, and for many wearing a hearing aid makes this possible.
2. At first it sounds distorted
Hearing aids today are digital. They don’t just make sounds louder.
They have many settings to help you hear best in various places. That’s why people may be so satisfied in a one-on-one conversation but dissatisfied in a restaurant or on the phone.
Hearing aids aren’t difficult to learn to use. But they do take some practice.
3. I needed help learning how to use my hearing aid
A common misunderstanding about hearing aids is that it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. If it doesn’t sound right when they leave the office they can leave with the misconception that this is as good as it gets and decide it’s easier not to wear the hearing aid.
Hearing is more complex than you may realize. Hearing aids are designed to address various types and levels of hearing loss by changing how sound enters the ear.
A hearing specialist will complete a hearing aid fitting in the office. When you get home, practice using your hearing aid with a friend in various settings.
If it still doesn’t sound right after a few weeks, talk to your doctor. They may be able to make adjustments or help you better understand how the hearing aid works in settings where you’re having difficulty.
4. I had forgotten what I was missing without full hearing
Do you remember what a playful whisper sounds like? What about gentle laugher? How about soft music, birds singing, wind chimes, or the wind? Perhaps you’ve forgotten what it’s like to hear the soft breath of a significant other sitting close beside you or children playing outside.
Many people who get a hearing aid share that it’s a pleasant surprise to suddenly hear these little things that they had forgotten about. It means so much to have these sounds restored–it allows them to again experience the fullness and magnificence of the world around them.
5. It took some time to get used to the hearing aid
When you were a toddler and had to wear shoes for the first time, you probably thought that was uncomfortable. Now you may prefer to wear them all the time. Similarly, a new watch or new shoes take time to get used to.
Our bodies are designed to feel discomfort when something seems out of place, like a hearing aid going into your outer ear. But within a short time, the body realizes there is no threat and welcomes the device as an extension of the body.
6. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get my hearing aid
People who take the time to get used to their hearing aids wouldn’t go back. They wouldn’t give up all the advantages of hearing, and they often regret waiting so long to get a hearing aid.
Of those now wearing them who struggled at first, they say they’re so happy they persevered. It’s made their life so much more enriched.
Focus on improved hearing
If you’re not having the ideal experience with your hearing aid, don’t give up. It’s worth the time and effort. Soon using the hearing aid will become second nature.
Speak to your hearing specialist about what you’re experiencing. They can often offer tips on how to adjust to your hearing aids faster. Then work with a trusted friend to practice these tips. Experiencing all that life has to offer with restored hearing is worth the adjustment.