You’ve just gotten your first hearing aid. You may have some worries about what you don’t know.
Will you ever become comfortable wearing your hearing aid? Will people respond differently to you because of it? Will it impact your active lifestyle? You’ve got questions and concerns.
But being a worry-free hearing aid owner really isn’t complicated. It just takes knowing a few secrets that the happy hearing aid wearers know.
Here they are.
People with untreated hearing loss are 30% more likely to become socially isolated. They slowly stop going places and doing things. It’s easier to be alone.
But people with a hearing aid are no more likely than their hearing peers to become isolated. Wear your hearing aid and stay more active with the people you love. Keep doing the things you love to do.
Get Pumped Up About Visiting the Doctor
Regular checkups with your primary doctor are important for overall health. Regular dental cleanings are important if you want to keep your teeth. Seeing your audiologist regularly to adjust your hearing experience will help you keep your hearing and live a more active, quality life.
But many people dread doctor visits. This can cause them to delay them. This undoubtedly leads to hearing aid emergencies and a lessened experience.
Instead, look forward to appointments by associating them with something positive.
Make a day of it. Plan a shopping trip after your appointment. Buy something nice for yourself. Invite a friend along. Go out to a late lunch. But keep in touch with any after-appointment dates just in case the appointment runs long.
Keep an Open Line
Communication is key to so many things in life. A worry-free hearing aid experience is no exception. Ask questions when you are planning a night out with friends. Some places will be more conducive to hearing than others.
Some auditoriums have a hearing loop system. These wirelessly connect to certain hearing aids to bring sound right to your ear.
If you have trouble hearing at seminars, it’s okay to ask in advance if you can put your hearing aid integrated smartphone on the podium.
If your son asks where you’d like to eat, suggest a place where it’s easier to hear. This will be a place that doesn’t have loud music but does have soft surfaces to dampen background noise.
If background music or a TV in your daughter’s home is making it hard for you to carry on a conversation, ask for help.
The alternative is typically building frustration on both sides.
Be Patient with Yourself and Others
If you want people to be more patient, start by being patient with yourself first. It takes some time to learn how to get the best hearing experience with a new hearing device. Set aside some quiet time with a trusted friend to do so.
Try not to get agitated when people:
- Ask people to repeat
- Tell you it wasn’t important anyway
- Say they’ll tell you later
- Seem to exclude you from the conversation
- Whisper something unkind, thinking you can’t hear them
- Yell at you because they think volume is the problem
It can be difficult for those around you to know “how to act” around someone with hearing loss. If you waited until hearing loss was disabling to get your hearing aid, these are learned behaviors that will take a little time to go away.
Show compassion even if it feels like you’re not receiving it. You’ll find things get better much faster.
Set Goals and Achieve Them
This isn’t the end. It’s a new beginning with your hearing restored. Make the most of it. Learn new things. Go out more. Set goals. Do something you’ve never done before.
Keeping your brain active by setting goals and learning new things not only helps you have a better hearing experience, it keeps your mind sharp as you age.
Get a Support System that Understands
When it comes to hearing loss, a support system isn’t necessarily family and lifelong friends. It’s people who understand what you’re going through because they have hearing loss as well.
A support system also isn’t a bunch of people with hearing loss who complain all the time about how bad it is. Being around these people will inevitably leave you feeling sad or angry.
Look for people who have a positive outlook. Find those who encourage you to wear your hearing aid and stay active. It’s okay if they talk about the challenges of hearing loss as long as they’re working to constructively overcoming them.
That’s the secret to worry-free hearing aid ownership.