Although deciding to get hearing aids is a huge step, the devices don’t do you much good if you aren’t committed to wearing them.
It seems like common sense, but it’s all too familiar of a situation – studies show that less than one-third of people over 70 who could hear better with a hearing aid wear one. With May being designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month, there’s no better time than the present to commit to wearing your hearing aids. It can make a world of difference in your ability to communicate with friends, family, associates and coworkers.
Audiology Services of Marin in Greenbrae, California offers the following tips about handling some of the most common reasons people give for not wearing their devices:
- Embarrassment: Many people say the hearing aids make them feel “old” or less able. Would you rather seem “young” and constantly ask people to repeat themselves or “old” and be able to communicate more normally with people? Modern hearing aids are discreet devices that can be controlled from your smartphone, helping you tune in to your surroundings without drawing attention to your hearing loss.
- Looking for a good fit: Those with hearing aids that don’t fit properly are less likely to wear them. Don’t let an ill-fitting device keep you from better listening experiences – a simple fix such as replacing the ear mold, tube, tip or filter can make a huge difference. If your hearing aid just doesn’t feel right in your ear, see your hearing health professional for assistance.
- Fear of new technology: It’s OK to not know how to use your new hearing aids. Knowing the proper settings, how to replace batteries or streaming music from our smartphone isn’t common knowledge for most people, but practice makes perfect. Give yourself time to learn the technology until you grow comfortable with it. Remember that it’s always OK to ask for help.
- Consistent use is key: If wearing your hearing aids hasn’t become a habit yet, you may need to set alarm reminders or write notes to yourself on the kitchen counter until it does. Consistent use is important because many modern hearing aids rely on technology called machine learning – the devices remember your preferences in certain settings and can automatically adjust as you switch between listening environments. You need to wear them regularly for it to “learn” your preferences.