There is a common misconception about what to expect after purchasing a hearing aid. You do NOT just put them on and suddenly the world starts sounding clear. Yes, they do amplify sounds; however this often involves a learning process of training your ears to "hear again”. Depending on the severity and length of time you have had your hearing loss, more time may be required to acclimate your ears and your brain to hearing the world again.
When stimulating your inner ear and auditory (hearing) nerve with the use of a hearing aid, it takes time for your brain to make sense of the new stimulation.
I have found the best way to graduate my patients through this process most effectively is to set up a series of appointments where the patient and I work closely together to maximize the individual listening experience. Hearing aids are not “one size fits all”. Everyone's brain and nerves work differently and because of this I prescribe a baseline gain (volume) and fine-tune your devices based on feedback you report. This is a team approach and your input is vital to maximize your hearing success with your hearing aids:
After the initial fitting, where we cover care and use of the devices, I like to schedule a one or two-week follow-up appointment. At the follow-up appointment I check the ears to make sure they are tolerating the devices well, and then I ask for feedback from the patient - such as efficacy of listening in noise, soft voices, etc. Based on the patient’s report, we work together to adjust and fine-tune your devices.
After the first follow-up appointment I schedule another two-week appointment. This usually puts us near the end of the 30-day trial period. At that time we will make any adjustments to sound quality, or if the devices need to be exchanged or returned we may do so.
Lastly, I like to put my patients on a two or three-month routine cleaning schedule. This helps to ensure that the devices are performing at maximum capacity by removing any wax or that fine West Texas dust that permeates everything out here! These routine appointments also allow me to keep the patient stocked up with batteries and any other disposables (domes) that the hearing aids require. Additionally, if there are any changes in the patient’s hearing we are right on top of it!
Wearing hearing aids truly requires a team approach. It takes constant, accurate reporting from the patient and skilled care from your audiologist to improve and maximize your hearing! Please contact us to schedule an appointment today at Compass Hearing Center.