If you are the proud owner of a new pair of hearing aids, congratulations! These devices will enhance your life and wellbeing in countless ways. The most profound benefits come to your communication ability, clearing the noise and confusion that might have troubled your conversations in the past. Beyond these direct benefits, you also stand to benefit in terms of your physical health, mental wellness, cognitive functioning, and in many other aspects of your life. As you are getting to know your aids, you might be curious about the answers to some common questions. Indeed, hearing aids are relatively intuitive to use, but there are a few things to know that can enhance your experience with them. Let’s take a closer look at your hearing aids so that you can get the most out of them.
How do hearing aids work?
The basic function of hearing aids is to raise the volume on the acoustic sound in the world. Older models performed this function by simply using a microphone to turn the sound in the world into an electrical signal, an amplifier to raise the strength of that signal, and then a speaker to transform that electrical impulse back into acoustic energy that your ear can hear. The latest hearing aids have come a long way from that time, however. Most commonly, Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) are used to not only raise the volume on the world as a whole but to transform that sound, as well. DSPs make it possible to reduce background noise, enhance the sound of voices, and tailor your experience to the acoustic properties of the space where you find yourself.
How can I adjust to my new hearing aids?
As opposed to eyeglasses that bring the world into immediate sharp focus, hearing aids can take some time to get used to. When you start wearing hearing aids, you will hear some sounds that were long gone from your sonic profile in the past. These sounds can be distracting at first and even unsettling. If you find hearing aids uncomfortable at first, try wearing them for a short time each day. You can start by wearing them at home where things are relatively quiet. After an adjustment period, you can start to take your aids out and about in the world. When you feel fully adjusted to your hearing aids, you can wear them driving, but save this context for last in the adjustment period, making sure to stay safe on the road.
How can I care for my new hearing aids?
Most of the latest models of hearing aids are incredibly easy to care for. If your aids have replaceable batteries, you will need to keep a steady stock of fresh batteries and change them regularly, making sure not to find yourself stuck in a situation with powerless hearing aids. If your aids have rechargeable batteries, you can simply plug them in each night just like your smartphone or other devices. Cleaning is quite simple, best done with a clean, dry cloth to the exterior of the aids. If you find that earwax or other debris is stuck in the components of your aids, you can use a wire loop or tiny brush to remove that substance. If you have any more advanced needs for care, maintenance, cleaning, or repair, you can contact our offices for directions on how best to go about those tasks.
How long will my new hearing aids last?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors unique to your situation, but many people find that hearing aids can last up to five years or more. You might have changes in your hearing ability that require new aids, or new features might become available that make you decide to get new hearing aids earlier than that time. With these considerations in mind, you can trust that your hearing aids will serve you long into the future. If you have not yet received hearing aids, however, the time is now to schedule a hearing test. Once you have the test results, our hearing health professionals will point you to the right devices to meet your needs.