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Congratulations! You have made the decision to seek hearing assistance. Taking that first step toward treatment for hearing loss is half the battle, and many put off making an appointment for far too long. The benefits of hearing aids extend far beyond assisting your conversations and bringing back enjoyment of sound from the environment. Those who treat hearing loss with the use of hearing aids can even have benefits for mental health, social enjoyment, and cognition. Now that you have made the choice to seek hearing assistance, a few tips can help you get the most out of the process. Let’s consider how to go about selecting hearing aids so that you can be sure to get the right devices for your lifestyle and needs.
You might feel inclined to go through the process of seeking hearing aids on your own. Some people feel a certain stigma with the use of aids, and others simply feel like they can handle it alone. Although you might be able to wade through the process without help, it can be very useful to have someone with you, particularly while you have your consultations with a hearing health professional. This supportive person can assist you to remember the questions you want to ask as well as to help you remember the things your hearing health professional has to say to you. These meetings can inundate you with new information, so a supportive friend or loved one can make the difference in your memory and decision-making process.
Your hearing health professional may be able to supply you with handouts and brochures that include key details, but you will likely want to write down some important information in your own hand, as well. Bring a list of questions, as well. You can always contact your hearing health professional after the consultation, but it is best to get your questions out during a conversation if possible.
Carefully Consider Features
New hearing aids include a wide range of features including Bluetooth connectivity, water resistance, and rechargeable batteries. These features may all appeal to you, but some can bring along extra costs, as well. When you describe your lifestyle to your hearing health professional, include any activities or hobbies you enjoy. Also, be sure to describe situations that make hearing very difficult for you. Some people have trouble carrying on conversations while others would like assistance to hear sirens while driving. If you have trouble with manual dexterity or arthritis, you might want to disclose this information, as well. Hearing aids come in a range of sizes and shapes, and some are more difficult than others to manipulate when you insert and remove them.
The crucial piece of seeking hearing aids is to have a thorough hearing test by a licensed professional. Your hearing test will reveal which ranges are most difficult for you, as well as the overall level of hearing attenuation. With this information in hand, your hearing health professional can recommend the right aids to get you in a better hearing context. The test itself is harmless, quick, and simple. In most cases you will be asked to listen to tones through headphones and to gesture to the test administrator when you hear something.
Take Advantage of Training
Most hearing health professionals will offer an opportunity to get some help and training with your new aids. You might feel confident that you can do it on your own, but new hearing aids can take some adjustment. Don’t hesitate to get assistance and training from your hearing health professional. Their expertise can come in handy to make the adjustment period as easy as possible. Finally, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your hearing health professional if something goes awry. Hearing aids are only as useful as you are able to put them into use, so don’t let anything get in the way of your implementation. If you find they are ineffective in certain contexts or frustrating in any way, simply get in touch with your hearing health professional and describe the problem. In most cases you will be able to get some simple advice or pointers to get you back to assisted hearing!