When people experience hearing loss it can take a long time to act. This is largely because of the slow and incremental nature of hearing loss. Often those who experience hearing loss have lived with it for weeks or even decades before consulting with a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) to remedy the issue and mitigate the effect their loss of hearing has on their day to day lives. While it may be tempting to choose a hearing instrument off the shelf, this can often create as many problems as it solves. There are no effective one size fits all solutions for hearing loss. Only a HIS can help you to choose and calibrate an instrument that is perfectly suited to your needs.
And if you’re wearing a hearing aid for the first time, those needs may be slightly different to those of people who have worn them for years.
All hearing aids take a little getting used to
While a hearing aid can be a tremendous boon for those who are hearing impaired, it can also take a little getting used to. In many cases your brain will have gone years or even decades without experiencing sensory input on the frequencies a hearing aid fills in for you, and it’s common for new users to find that the sound they hear is slightly distorted, tinny or mechanical. After a few weeks of wearing your hearing aid regularly, however, this will cease to be an issue and your hearing will sound and feel normal again.
What should first time users look for in a hearing aid?
That said, there are some models that lend themselves better to new users than others. Rather than limit you to certain specific makes and models, let’s take a look at the features and capabilities that first-time users should look for when choosing a hearing aid.
Dynamic speech processing
One of the most common pain points for those new to hearing aids is that they struggle to follow conversations in busy environments over the texture of the background noise. As such, they should opt for a hearing device that offers dynamic speech processing to identify and clarify human voices even in a busy restaurant, café or bar.
Long battery life
Those who are new to hearing aid use may find themselves caught short when their battery power begins to wane. Especially if they haven’t taken the precaution of carrying some extra batteries in their wallet or purse. As such, new users should look for a hearing aid that offers long battery life and possibly one that uses rechargeable lithium ion batteries instead of disposable ones.
Auto adjusting settings
Every environment and situation provide a different set of challenges for your hearing aid. You will need different capabilities when wearing it to the movies or on a night out to what you will expect from it at home. And tinkering with settings manually can be a little fiddly for first time users with a lot of trial and error.
The good news is that lots of models feature auto-adjusting settings that adjust to your environment automatically without the need to manually alter settings or cycle through preset programs.
Streaming and connectivity
Most of today’s hearing aid users are always on the go, streaming content of all kinds including music, podcasts and audiobooks to their smartphones. If you don’t like the idea of switching between your hearing aids and your headphones there’s good news. Many of today’s models feature streaming via Bluetooth directly into your hearing aids so you don’t need to keep swapping them out for headphones. Better yet, you can even connect them to a Bluetooth enabled TV, so you need never worry about accidentally irritating your neighbors by turning the volume too loud.
Many with hearing loss also experience tinnitus and this can be very distracting, even when wearing a hearing aid. You may wish to choose a hearing aid with tinnitus support which emits a low-level frequency to balance out the irritating sound of tinnitus.
How we can help
At Beck Hearing Aids we specialize in giving individual support to those with hearing loss to ensure that they get the most out of their hearing devices. Our skilled and experienced specialists can help with every aspect of choosing and calibrating the right hearing aid to suit your unique hearing, your needs, your lifestyle and your budget.
Want to know more? Call us today at (519) 438-0492 to speak to a member of our team.