MISPERCEPTIONS AND TIPS FOR USING HEARING AIDS
COMMON MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT HEARING AIDS
Seeing a loved one suffer with hearing loss can be frustrating and heartbreaking. It is not always easy to convince a loved one to seek help. Here are some of the most common reactions from those reluctant to address their hearing problems:
My family doctor would have told me.
Only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing loss hear just fine in a quiet setting like a doctor’s office, it can be nearly impossible for their physician to recognize a hearing problem.
I don’t want a big, clunky hearing aid.
Some fear that a hearing aid will be bulky, cumbersome and make them look unattractive. Most hearing aid models today are quite discreet, and many are essentially invisible. Stop by ENT Specialists, PC to see models of ReSound and Starkey hearing aids and ask for a product demonstration.
A hearing aid will make me look old.
Some think that wearing a hearing aid is a sign of “weakness,” or that it will make them look old, less competent or “handicapped.” You should stress others will be much less aware of the hearing aid than they will be, and that misinterpreting words, responding inappropriately and being left out of conversations are much more obvious than a hearing aid.
My mother or father had one and it never worked.
Hearing aid technology has improved immensely in recent years. Most hearing instruments use digital technology, which allows the hearing professional to program them to meet one’s specific needs in different hearing environments. Other advances have resulted in reduced background noise, a sense of more natural sound, and the virtual elimination of “whistling” and “buzzing.”
Information obtained from Starkey brochure: The Journey to Better Hearing
TIPS FOR USING HEARING AIDS
It takes a little practice to get used to wearing hearing aids, but you’ll soon discover using your hearing aids is natural and enjoyable.
Here are some tips on using hearing aids.
Speaking with others
Human speech is a complex sound, so you’ll need a little more practice to begin with. Start by using your hearing aids at home with someone whose voice you know well.
Remember that communicating combines listening with concentration and visual clues. Pay attention to facial expressions and gestures, and you’ll understand more.
Hearing aids, like ears, pick up sound best from the front. So, place yourself in front of people when they speak. If you know them well enough, ask them to speak in a normal tone and without covering their mouth with their hands.
As you gain confidence, begin wearing your hearing aids in a wider variety of environments – like work or social occasions. Practice selecting specific sounds and voices and focusing attention on them.
In public places such as a meeting hall, sit as close to the speaker as possible. In cafes or restaurants, try to sit with your back to the main source of noise – such as an open window or a sidewalk.
Radio and television
For best results, you’ll need to find the best distance between you and the television.
With your new hearing aids on, sit between 6 and 12 feet away (around 2 to 4 meters) with the TV set to a normal level for others. Then adjust your distance to the TV and the volume to find your own comfortable level.
Do the same for the radio. The closer you are and the less background noise there is, the better the sound you’ll get.
Sometimes your hearing aids will buzz or squeal while you are talking on the phone. If you only wear one hearing aid, try swapping the phone to the other ear.
A telecoil – a feature of some hearing aids – can help when talking on a standard phone. On a cell phone, you could use hands-free systems that include headsets and volume controls.
Modern hearing aids will accomodate your needs
Remember that getting used to your hearing aids is part of the hearing recovery process.
Fortunately, today’s most advanced hearing aids are highly sensitive to individual needs, both for hearing and comfort.
By following the advice of your hearing care professional, you’ll soon discover using your hearing aids is natural and enjoyable.
Contact Ken Stallons, MS, FAAA with ENT Specialists, PC to obtain information on the best way to correct your hearing loss.
Information on this page taken from the ReSound web site, http://www.gnresound.com/, 2011. Please visit this web site for more information on hearing aids and the hearing aid products we offer.