You know you need hearing aids, but you’re still hesitant to get started.
Maybe you’re worried about getting the wrong ones. Maybe your spouse thinks you should get hearing aids, but you know a friend who hates them — or worse yet, keeps them in a drawer instead of wearing them.
“You might be surprised at the order, especially of number three!” he says.
3 Keys to hearing aid success
“There’s a difference between being tired of some of the frustrations involved with not hearing well, and actually wanting to hear better. Are you ready to put in the time, the effort, the investment that it takes to hear better?” Hanan asks.
Getting properly fitted hearing aids doesn’t have to be a difficult, frustrating experience, but it does take commitment — like any worthwhile self improvement! A good hearing care provider can help you solidify your reasoning. Are you getting hearing aids to protect your mental health? To feel more confident in social interactions? Or are you just trying to get your spouse off your back?
“That might be a decent motivation to get started, but unless you want to hear better, you’re not likely to be very successful,” Hanan says.
A good hearing care professional can also help you understand realistically what to expect from your hearing aids. How much they’ll help, and how much they won’t.
2. Your hearing aid provider
In British Columbia, all hearing care providers are registered and carry the same licensing qualifications, whether they’re hearing instrument practitioners or audiologists. Find a provider with a good mix of experience and creativity, from an independent clinic with a broad range of hearing products.
But most importantly, choose someone you like and trust.
“Successfully fitting hearing aids and helping someone adapt to them is a combination of art and science. The more we understand your motivations and needs, the better we can help,” Hanan says. “When you say ‘background noise’ are you referring to the noise at the gym, or at your church? The more you can tell me about these specific environments, the more insights I can use to tailor the experience.”
Often success with hearing aids comes down to attention to little details be it proper instructions, proper fit, or proper tuning. A good relationship with your provider is the best chance of making sure these details are tailored to your specific needs.
3. The product
Yes, surprisingly, this is the least important point in hearing aid success.
There are eight major brands owned by five manufacturers, each with many different styles. Some are behind ear, some are in-ear. Each comes with a different level of technology — the software that helps adjust the sound — and that can have the most significant effect on the cost.
“Nothing happens without the product, but success with hearing aids depends on much more than just hearing aids,” Hanan says. “You can buy the most expensive hearing aid, but if it’s not fit for your hearing and the sound type, it won’t offer you any benefits.”
Product features may be the most interesting, but Hanan says these three big picture ideas are more foundational to your hearing success.
Taught how to switch your hearing aids (or switch your positioning) in different situations.