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What are hearing aids?

Hearing aids are electronic devices designed to improve hearing for individuals with hearing loss. They work by amplifying sounds, making them clearer, thus enhancing the wearer's ability to hear and understand speech and other environmental sounds.

Getting Started

Getting started with hearing aids may seem daunting, but we're here to guide you through the process. In this section, we'll outline the essential steps to start your journey to better hearing.

1. Hearing Evaluation

The first step in your hearing aid journey is to undergo a comprehensive hearing evaluation conducted by a hearing care professional. During this evaluation, they will assess your hearing abilities by conducting various tests to determine the type and degree of hearing loss you may have.

These tests are typically meant to:

  • Measure your ability to hear sounds at different frequencies.
  • Evaluate how well you understand speech in quiet and noisy environments.
  • Assess the health and function of your ear.

Based on the results of these tests, they will recommend suitable treatment options, including whether hearing aids are necessary and if so, which types and styles would best address your hearing needs.

Here’s what to expect when you go in for a hearing test:

2. Choosing the Right Hearing Aid

Once you've received your hearing evaluation results and it's determined that hearing aids are the appropriate solution for your hearing loss, the next step is selecting the right hearing aid for you. Factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid include:

  • Lifestyle: Consider your daily activities and environments. Are you frequently in noisy settings or quiet environments? Do you lead an active lifestyle that involves sports or outdoor activities?
  • Hearing needs: Different hearing aids offer various features and technology levels to address specific hearing challenges, such as speech clarity, noise reduction, and connectivity options.
  • Budget: Hearing aids come in a range of price points, so it's essential to discuss your budget with your hearing professional to find a solution that fits both your hearing needs and financial considerations.

Your hearing care professional will work closely with you to understand your preferences and recommend hearing aids that align with your lifestyle, hearing requirements, and budgetary constraints.

Learn more about how to choose the best hearing aids

3. Customization and Fitting

Once you've selected your hearing aids, the next step is customizing and fitting them to your individual hearing profile. During the fitting appointment, your hearing care professional will:

  • Adjust the hearing aids' settings to match your hearing prescription and preferences.
  • Ensure a comfortable and secure fit of the hearing aids in your ears.
  • Provide instructions on how to insert, remove, and maintain your hearing aids properly.
  • Educate you on the use of additional features and accessories, such as volume controls, program settings, and wireless connectivity options.

Remember, hearing aids are personalized devices tailored to your unique hearing needs, so don't hesitate to communicate any concerns or preferences during the fitting process.

Living with your hearing aids

As you start this journey, it's essential to understand that adjusting to life with hearing aids is a process. In this section, we'll provide valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate everyday situations with confidence.

Communication Strategies

Effective communication is key to thriving in various environments, whether you're having a conversation with a friend in a quiet setting or navigating a bustling restaurant. Here are some communication strategies to consider:

  • Face-to-Face Communication: When conversing with others, try to maintain eye contact and face them directly. This visual connection can aid in lip-reading and understanding speech more clearly.
  • Reduce Background Noise: In noisy environments like restaurants or social gatherings, try to position yourself away from sources of background noise, such as loudspeakers or bustling kitchens. Utilizing features like noise reduction and directional microphones on your hearing aids can help minimize distractions.
  • Advocate for Yourself: Don't hesitate to inform others about your hearing loss and any specific communication needs you may have. Politely asking others to speak clearly and face you when talking can greatly improve understanding.
  • Use Visual Cues: Pay attention to visual cues, such as gestures and facial expressions, which can provide additional context and aid in comprehension.

Managing Expectations

Adjusting to life with hearing aids involves a period of adaptation, both for you and your loved ones. It's essential to set realistic expectations about the benefits of hearing aids and understand that the adjustment process may take time. Here's what to expect:

  • Gradual Improvement: While hearing aids can significantly improve your ability to hear and communicate, it may take some time for your brain to adjust to these new sounds. Be patient and allow yourself time to acclimate to the changes.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Your hearing care professional will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your hearing aids. Don't hesitate to communicate any concerns or difficulties you may be experiencing during these appointments.
  • Emotional Support: It's normal to experience a range of emotions during the adjustment period, including frustration, excitement, and even relief. Lean on your support network of family and friends, and consider joining a support group for individuals with hearing loss to connect with others who understand your experiences.

Addressing Concerns

As you navigate life with hearing aids, you may encounter common issues or concerns. Here are some resources and tips for troubleshooting:

  • Maintenance and Care: Proper maintenance and care of your hearing aids are essential for optimal performance. Clean your hearing aids regularly, change or charge the batteries as needed, and store them in a safe, dry place when not in use.
  • Troubleshooting Tips: If you encounter any issues with your hearing aids, such as feedback or distortion, refer to the troubleshooting resources provided by your hearing professional.
  • Seeking Support: If you're unable to resolve a problem on your own, don't hesitate to contact a TeleSupport hearing care professional.

What is the best hearing aid for first-time users?

The best hearing aid for a first-time user depends on several factors, including the type and severity of their hearing loss, lifestyle needs, budget, and personal preferences.

Your hearing care professional will conduct a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine the most suitable hearing aid for your unique needs.

Modern hearing aids come in various styles, from discreet in-the-ear models to behind-the-ear options with advanced features like noise reduction and Bluetooth connectivity. Your hearing care professional will guide you in selecting the right style and technology level based on your preferences and hearing requirements.

What should a new user of hearing aids be aware of?

  • Adjustment Period: Understand that it may take time to adjust to wearing hearing aids and acclimatizing to amplified sounds. Be patient and give yourself time to adapt.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for optimal performance and longevity of your hearing aids. Your hearing care professional will provide guidance on proper care techniques.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Schedule follow-up appointments with your hearing care professional for adjustments and fine-tuning of your hearing aids to ensure they continue to meet your needs.
  • Battery Management: If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, learn how to properly replace them and keep extras on hand. For rechargeable models, understand the charging process and battery life.

“To realize their full potential, hearing aids require specialized fine-tuning by a hearing care professional for your unique hearing and lifestyle needs. This is accomplished by taking the time to listen to your experience, conducting precise testing of your hearing and hearing aid abilities directly in your ears, and incorporating your feedback of their performance during follow-up consultations,”
Katie Koebel - Audiologist and Senior Manager, Audiology

Where can you buy a hearing aid?

Hearing aids should be purchased from hearing healthcare professionals, such as audiologists or hearing instrument specialists/practitioners.

Avoid purchasing hearing aids from unauthorized sellers or online retailers without professional guidance, as improper fitting and programming can lead to suboptimal results and potential health risks.

Your hearing care professional will guide you through the selection, fitting, and adjustment process to ensure your hearing aids meet your specific needs and preferences.

Book a FREE consultation

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in various styles and technologies, allowing users to choose the option that best suits their preferences and lifestyle.

Learn more about hearing aid types

Benefits of Hearing Aids

The benefits of wearing hearing aids extend far beyond simply improving one's ability to hear. Here are some key advantages:

  • Improved Communication: Hearing aids enhance speech clarity, making it easier to engage in conversations with family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Enhanced Social Interactions: By enabling better communication, hearing aids help individuals participate more fully in social gatherings, activities, and events, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Increased Safety: Being able to hear important environmental sounds, such as alarms, sirens, and approaching vehicles, improves overall safety and situational awareness.
  • Boosted Confidence: With improved hearing, individuals feel more confident in various settings, whether at work, in public spaces, or during recreational activities.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Ultimately, wearing hearing aids allows individuals to enjoy a better quality of life by reconnecting them with the sounds and experiences they may have been missing out on.

FAQs By First-time Hearing Aid Users