The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that “About 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.” But despite the prevalence of hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, only about one in five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
If you’re among the population who could benefit from hearing aids but haven’t yet made the investment, you may be wondering what you can expect. We review what to know about your first hearing aids below.
You’ll See Your Audiologist Several Times
Unlike getting a pair of prescription glasses, where you see your specialist once, get fit and take them home without needing to return for at least a year, you’ll need to see your audiologist several times when you get your first hearing aid.
The programming of your hearing aids is based on the results of your hearing test, which takes place in a soundproof booth. But when you encounter real-world situations, you’ll likely find that you need slightly different programming in order to hear well. The purpose of follow-up visits is to get the programming just right.
You May Need Two Hearing Aids
If you have hearing loss in only one ear, you may only need one hearing aid. But the vast majority of people require two. It’s important that you invest in two if that’s what your audiologist recommends and that you actually wear both. The reason for this is because they are calibrated to work together, and you need to hear well in both ears in order to localize sounds, especially in complex situations like dinner at Common Block.
You’ll Start Wearing Your Hearing Aids for Short Durations
Though the goal is to wear your hearing aids during all waking hours, at first, you’ll just wear them for an hour or two at a time. The reason for this is, the longer you waited to seek treatment, the longer it will take to adjust to hearing all the sounds around you once again. To prevent getting overwhelmed and giving up on the process, you’ll take baby steps and work slowly up to wearing them all day long.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center today.