What to Expect from Hearing Aids & Questions to Ask Your Provider


what to expect from hearing aids | oliveira audiology
While there are many hearing aid options available in Texas, you almost always get better results from custom-made hearing aids that you obtain from an audiologist or hearing specialist than generic models that you purchase from other sources, such as an online retailer or a big box store. In either case, adjusting to new hearing aids takes time.

New to Hearing Aids? 

Hearing aids today are much more advanced than in the days of your parents or grandparents. Some of them come in smaller sizes to hide inside the ear canal. Many can connect to other devices via the internet and allow you to run music apps. However, before you can take advantage of all your new hearing aids’ capabilities, you need to get used to them with the help of an audiologist or hearing specialist. Knowing what to expect from hearing aids can help the process and avoid frustration.

Adjustment Period

The adjustment period to get used to new hearing aids in Laredo, Texas, can take several weeks to several months. When you first get your hearing aids, your brain needs to adapt to processing sounds that it has not been able to perceive in some time. This is a process that takes time. You may find that you do not process speech as well as before you got hearing aids until you have gone through the intensive training of wearing your hearing aids for at least 12 hours a day for three months. You also need to incorporate wearing hearing aids into your daily routine, which can take several weeks. Everyone is different and adjusts at their own pace, so do not get discouraged if the adjustment period takes longer than you expect.

Follow-up Appointments To Fine-Tune Your Devices

Follow-up appointments with your audiologist or hearing specialist provide an opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns that you have about the adjustment process. If you are having problems or issues, we can help you troubleshoot solutions and give you a realistic idea of what to expect from hearing aids. There is no limit on the number of follow-up appointments you can have. We are happy to keep making adjustments until you are satisfied with your new hearing aids.

Your Voice May Sound Different

When you first get your hearing aids, your voice may sound louder inside your own head. This is because of the occlusion effect of having an object blocking your ear canal. As you adjust to your hearing aids, you should get used to this. However, do not hesitate to talk about it to your audiologist or hearing specialist if it remains bothersome.

Expect To Feel Uncomfortable at First

Your hearing aids are custom-made to fit the unique shape of your ear. However, it takes time for you to get used to them, and in the meantime, they may feel uncomfortable. Start by wearing them for short periods and then gradually increase the period that you have them in. Eventually, you should feel comfortable wearing them for an entire day. This is part of the adjustment process, so be patient and go at your own pace.

Expect To Hear New Sounds 

Small sounds that you took for granted in the past, even before you experienced hearing loss, may become more noticeable when you first get your hearing aids. Examples include traffic outside or clanking dishes. These may be annoying at first, but eventually, your brain will relearn to process them properly during the adjustment period.

What Questions Should I Ask My Provider?

You should ask your audiologist or hearing specialist questions both before you get hearing aids and during the adjustment period. Asking questions and talking about the issues you are experiencing helps your provider adjust your hearing aids accordingly. If you are not sure what to ask, here are some important questions.

Why Did You Recommend a Specific Hearing Aid To Me? 

An audiologist or hearing specialist recommends hearing aids based on important factors such as your hearing test results, your lifestyle, and what you can afford. You should ask why you were recommended a certain type or brand of hearing aid and how specifically it will fit your needs.

By law, you are entitled to a trial period after purchasing hearing aids in which you can return them for a refund if they do not work. You do not have to pay a restocking fee unless you have custom-made earmolds. You should ask to try out the hearing aids before you commit to the purchase.

How Long Will My Hearing Aid Last?

When you receive your hearing aids, you will receive instructions on how to care for them. Performing monthly maintenance and daily cleaning may help them to last longer. The component most susceptible to damage is the receiver. With everyday wear and tear, this component can last up to five years. This can be replaced once it wears out, and the warranty should cover the cost.

Can I Just Wear My Hearing Aids When I Need Them? 

Wearing hearing aids occasionally disrupts the adjustment period that your brain needs to learn how to process sounds. To get the most out of your hearing aids, you should wear them all day, every day. This allows your brain to complete the necessary adjustments to get more satisfaction out of your hearing aid as a result.

Should I Get Rechargeable Hearing Aids?

Some hearing aid batteries have to be replaced once a week, while others are rechargeable. You should compare the costs of a rechargeable option to what you would spend on monthly battery expenses to determine which offers better value. If changing the batteries is difficult for you, rechargeable hearing aids may be a better choice. Hearing aid options compatible with either rechargeable or regular batteries are a good choice if you travel frequently.

How Do I Choose A Provider?

There is a difference between a hearing specialist and an audiologist. A specialist can fit you with a hearing aid and test you for that purpose. An audiologist has more education and can not only fit you for a hearing aid but diagnose the cause of your hearing loss. Overall, you are likely to get a better outcome when you see an audiologist.

Why Should You Choose Oliveira Audiology and Hearing Center?

You do not have to travel out of town to obtain hearing health care. We are a family-operated and -staffed clinic right here in Laredo. Our fully qualified and licensed audiologists have over 25 years of combined experience making precise assessments and knowledgeable recommendations. We evaluate your hearing needs in a professional matter while providing personalized attention. When we have follow-up recommendations, we report them to the doctor of your choice. Contact us for an appointment, and we would be happy to show you the hearing aids options available to you based on your hearing loss, lifestyle, and individual needs.


Image Credit: edwardolive, Shutterstock

Masks encouraged for patients.