As a new hearing device user or someone who is considering trying hearing aids, it is important that you understand some basic information about how hearing aids and other assistive listening devices work and what can be achieved with amplification. You also need to recognize that there are limitations to any technology. Developing realistic expectations is critical to success.
Facts About Hearing Aids And Other Assistive Listening Devices
- No hearing device can restore your hearing or your communication to “normal” as you remember it. Current hearing aids are high fidelity instruments. However, you must consider that the hearing device is being worn on an ear which may have its own built-in distortion. Your ears ultimately set the limits for the quality of amplified sound.
- It takes time and persistence to adjust to amplification. You CANNOT expect to be comfortable with amplified sound in all situations overnight. Our products are sold on a 30-day trial basis for this reason. It may take the length of the trial period before you can reliably assess the benefits you receive. Be patient with your new devices and with yourself.
- Daily, preferably full-time use increases your chance for successful adjustment.
- A well-fit device should feel comfortable in your ear. Feel free to try the different size and style domes and tubings included with your device to find the physical fit that is best for you.
- Your own voice may sound loud and unnatural to you at first. You will adjust to this over time. People with hearing trouble sometimes talk loudly in order to hear themselves and do not realize they are doing so.
- The device microphone is most effective at picking up sound originating from within several feet from the hearing aid. The farther you are from the sound source, the less effectively the device will work.
- Any listening device is most effective when worn in quiet surroundings. New hearing aid circuits are now available which reduce interference from background noise. However, despite some advertising claims, NO hearing aid eliminates all background noise.
- There are significant acoustic advantages to using amplification on BOTH EARS (binaurally) for most people.
- Many people find it difficult to use their hearing aids on the telephone. When using your new device on the telephone, remember to hold the telephone receiver so that the speaker is directing sounds above your ear to the microphone on your hearing device. In addition to a Behind the ear hearing device, an amplified telephone may be helpful in alleviating any telephone communication problems you have.
- When the proper program is selected and volume adjusted to appropriate levels, your device should never make sound so loud that it hurts your ear.
- Even when using amplification, you will achieve the best communication by positioning yourself near the speaker in such a way that you can see his/her facial expressions and gestures. Visual information increases speech understanding by about 40%.
- Whispered speech, foreign accents and indistinct speech may continue to be difficult for you to understand.
- Environmental sounds like running water, footsteps, paper crinkling, etc., will now be amplified. These are sounds that you may not have heard in a long time. In time, you can learn to ignore these sounds again. However, they may be annoying to you at first. It is important to be patient and allow your brain to become accustomed to these sounds again.
- There are some listening settings in which any hearing device are of limited or no help to some people. These include restaurants, large group meetings or parties, and when riding in a car. These situations usually involve a high level of background noise, which interferes with speech understanding. When possible, communicate away from the noise. In restaurants, request a booth or table so that you can be seated with you facing the wall or corner.
- Room acoustics also play a significant role in communication. High ceilings, hard walls and floors make hearing and understanding much more difficult. In your own home, manipulate the environment as much as possible (drapes, carpeting, low ceilings) to improve the acoustics.
- Our devices run on a standard hearing aid battery, which must be replaced every five to ten days or on a rechargeable battery that should be recharged every day. Exact battery life varies, depending on many factors including your usage.
- Considering their size, intricacy and typical conditions of use, our devices are fairly durable. However, they are not indestructible. They can be damaged by moisture, by impact (dropping or crushing), by earwax building up in the tubing and receiver, etc. Like any electronic device, parts eventually wear out and need to be replaced.
This list of facts about our products is provided as a general guide to help you understand what to expect from amplification. It is important to understand what a hearing aid or any other assistive listening device can and cannot do.
We wish you the very best on your journey towards better hearing and encourage you to contact our hearing health experts with any questions you may have regarding our products or about your hearing needs.