Adjusting to Life With Hearing Aids

Even though age is the single greatest predictor of hearing loss, many people wait as long as 15 years before attempting to address it.

Even more concerning – of those age 70 and older with hearing loss, only 30% have used hearing aids.1 The consequences of untreated hearing loss include social isolation, depression, and dementia, each of which by themselves is related to poorer health outcomes.

The good news is, hearing healthcare professionals like "Bee" at Professional Hearing Aid Service, Reston, Virginia embrace their role in helping their patients achieve better health outcomes.

When you’ve suffered a loss of hearing, you may feel a detachment from life, though usually hearing loss happens gradually and you may not connect this withdrawal with your ears. It’s common for others around you to notice your hearing loss before you do, since your brain constantly adapts.

Assistive devices in the form of hearing aids can help you find out what you’ve been missing. Depending on how long your hearing has been fading, though, it may make the change back toward normal hearing a challenge. You should expect a period of adjustment to get used to your new hearing aids. For most people, this takes about two weeks.

Early decisions

When you’re new to the world of assistive devices for hearing loss, you’ll need to make some decisions before you know much about the world of hearing aids. Choosing an experienced audiologist like Bhama 'Bee' Pathak of Professional Hearing Aid Service makes the transition easier. Bee can help you through your options, as well as what styles and types of hearing aids are suitable for both your hearing loss and your lifestyle in general.

Comfort

Contemporary hearing aids are typically small and light. Before digital technology, hearing aids could be heavier and sometimes uncomfortable to wear, particularly if you also wore glasses. You’ll likely adapt to the weight of the aids in a day or two.

The occlusion effect

Place your fingers lightly in your ears and you’ll notice that the sound of your own voice changes and seems much louder. This version of the occlusion effect is more obvious and intense than your new aids will cause, but it can be one of the first things you notice about your new hearing aids. It’s something that most people get used to, but some people may need further adjustments. Mention this to Bee in a follow-up appointment. 

Overall volume

You may not want to hear all of what you have been missing! It’s a noisy world out there, and you’ve been living with a quieter version of it for some time now. Fully correcting for some levels of hearing loss could result in startlingly loud levels when you first begin using your aids. Many contemporary devices have adaptive programming, to ease you into a suitable level of hearing compensation, but don’t hesitate to share your personal preferences. 

Directional sound

Background noise can also be distracting, since your hearing aids may capture sounds you’re not used to hearing. Your devices will likely have several settings for use in various situations. Noise-cancelling programs are often very effective at blocking sounds except for those in front of you. You may be astonished at how well you can hear across tables in busy restaurants.

Whistling

Digital hearing aids control high-frequency whistling — called feedback — better than ever, so it’s probably not going to be an issue. However, if you find that these squeaks and whistles are a problem, speak with Bee about adjusting your hearing aids to reduce the issue.

After years of hearing decline, hearing aids can help you perceive the world the way you once did. Contemporary devices have plenty of programming versatility, so many adjustments can be made to match your preferences. Bee and her team have plenty of experience making these changes, so bring forth the annoying issues, no matter how small. There may be a simple adjustment.

If you’ve not yet taken the first steps toward restored hearing, call or click to arrange an appointment with Professional Hearing Aid Service today. 

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