The world of hearing aids is new for many of you and it is only natural to not know what to expect. You may have a friend who has told you that hearing aids are a waste of money or a friend who has told you that Brand X is the best. One friend may love hearing aids and another may hate them. It is natural to be influenced by friends and family who offer their advice, however, it is important to also remember that some advice may inadvertently set you up for failure. Everyone is unique and we, as Audiologists, have yet to encounter two people who are identical in terms of hearing loss, listening needs, budget etc.
But my friend said……
What may or may not work for one person does not necessarily apply to everyone else.
Here are some things to consider at your hearing aid evaluation:
Rely on the expert
Your audiologist has your best interest at heart and has experience with many different types of hearing aids. We have seen what does and doesn’t work for other patients and can apply this knowledge to your particular circumstance. Rely on the expertise and experience of your audiologist to help guide to towards a selection of devices that best suit your individual needs and circumstances.
Have a positive attitude toward hearing aid(s). Even if you have seen or heard negative feedback about this process, do not assume your experience will be the same. If you work with your audiologist throughout this process, your chance of success improves. One of the highlights of our profession is getting to see the positive impact that hearing aids have on so many people. We want you to be a success story and a positive mindset will improve your odds of success.
Have an open-mind when embarking on this process. A close-minded approach will only hinder you on this journey. There are a variety of hearing aid manufacturers on the market with many different price points and options such as Bluetooth capabilities, sizes, accessories, etc. and you should rely on your audiologist to help guide you through the selection process.
It is important to communicate any difficulties or concerns that you may have with your audiologist. You should feel comfortable with your decisions and your audiologist will be happy to discuss, explain and/or elaborate on any questions or concerns you may have at any point in the process. In most cases, there are solutions to problems that may arise along the way and if you communicate your concerns as they arise, your audiologist will likely have solutions to assist you.
Ask for clarification and help
There is a steep learning curve associated with the care and use of hearing aid(s). Even tasks such as distinguishing which one is left and right and putting them on correctly may be difficult. Your audiologist is here to assist you during this learning process. Ask for help when needed because unresolved issues tend to make matters worse over time.
If you avoid some of these common pitfalls, your hearing aid experience should be a positive one.