Don’t Give Up on Your Hearing Aids!
The hearing aid that helps someone the least is one that never gets used. Let’s look at a few common reasons people give up on using their hearing aids. Then we will consider some ways and reasons to overcome these issues.
Concerns in the Workplace
“Hearing aids make me seem old!” That’s the lament of many businesspeople who get hearing aids and then decide not to wear them to the office. You may be worried that hearing aids will signal executives that you are “over-the-hill” and not qualified for a promotion or raise. Plus, you may just feel that they are not comfortable to wear all day and don’t really help you hear any better in office meetings or on other occasions. What are some solutions to these concerns?
- Time for a Refitting – About 2 out of 3 people leave a fitter with hearing aids that don’t actually fit properly. Perhaps that is because people have the preconceived notion that hearing aids will be uncomfortable, so when that expectation is met no objections are voiced. Remember: If you don’t feel like you can wear your hearing aids all day, they have not been fitted properly.
- Give it Time – You can’t expect hearing aids to work perfectly from day one. Your brain has not had to process certain sounds in a while, simply because you couldn’t hear them. It may take up to 8 week before you begin getting the maximum benefit from your hearing aids. So don’t toss them in the drawer just because you don’t pick up every word on the first day.
- Make More Money – Contrary to what you might think, wearing a hearing aid can actually help your career. According to a study performed by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), people who don’t get hearing issues taken care of actually make less money, some up to $23,000 less annually. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from earning what you should.
Concerns at School
“I’m the only kid in school with hearing aids. Now I’ll never fit in!” Before long, your teen is heading to school, but his or her hearing aids are hidden in a drawer at home. Is your teen convinced that it’s better to be cool than to be able to hear? After all, everyone is just texting nowadays, right?
- Social Interactions – Recent surveys show that more than half of hearing aids users experience better relationships. Much of communication is verbal, and without communication friendships suffer.
- Tech Is Cool – How many people are walking around with Bluetooth headsets? The fact is that we love technology, and kids especially approve of new advancements. The fact is that advancements in hearing aids make them so barely noticeable the other kids at school may never see them. If they do, the reaction is more likely to be interest in the tech than mocking.
- Be Confident – Every kid wants to be confident. Another BHI study revealed that hearing aids boost confidence. Maybe it’s because you know that you aren’t missing most of what goes on around you.
Personal Lifestyle Concerns
“They don’t fit or work right. I can’t be bothered.” If you feel that hearing aids are more of a hassle than an asset, some of the burden may be on you. How well did you vet your fitter? Did you do any research on hearing aid brands?
- Professionals Do Professional Work – Finding an experienced fitter is the first step in making hearing aids wearable. Be sure to keep your follow-up visits, so your fitter can do his or her job properly.
- The Latest Tech – If you don’t know what’s available, then you are relying solely on your hearing aid specialist to think of all the features you want and need. Would you go for a new cell phone without having an idea of which one you want? Make sure you choose a fitter who sells brands with the features you are excited about.
- Boost Your Love Life – You heard me right. Yet another study revealed that 1 in 3 hearing aid users sees a boost in love life. Even more say that they have better relationships. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to have more meaningful relationships out of fear of discomfort or embarrassment. It’s more embarrassing to regularly miss something that is said than to have a tiny piece of advanced tech in your ears. Plus, when fitted properly, you should barely know your hearing aids are there other than the fact that you can hear again.
Before you leave the house without your hearing aids, ask yourself why. Then see if there is something you can do to fix the problem. Getting the hearing aids was only a small part of the process. Wearing them is the only way to increase your quality of life and to find advancement at work, school, and in your personal life.
Statistics and research mentioned are taken from the Better Hearing Institute. BHI is a not-for-profit corporation that educates the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it. Find them at www.betterhearing.org.
Article Written By
Caleb Rhodes, HIS
Caleb Rhodes studied at Western Kentucky Technical and Community College and Parkland College in Champaign Illinois with a focus on hearing instrument sciences. He began assisting the hearing impaired in 2003 and is licensed as a hearing instrument specialist.