A: Different hearing aid styles work in different ways, but the main function is always the same. A microphone on the hearing aid receives the sounds around you and plays them into your ear through a speaker. However, many hearing aid styles go beyond simple amplification. Directional microphones, automatic adjustments, multiple channels, and other technologies can make hearing aids help your hearing ability come as close to normal as possible.
Q: Will I need one hearing aid or two?
A: If you have hearing loss in both ears, which is more common than only having it in one, then you will have the best results if you use two hearing aids. This is because your brain is accustomed to using both ears to hear. If you only use one, it will be hard to tell where sounds are coming from and make hearing less clear.
Q: How do I know if my hearing is bad enough to need hearing aids?
A: It's normal to lose a little bit of hearing ability during the aging process, but if you miss sounds more often than on a rare occasion, it's definitely worth getting your hearing tested. (You should have annual hearing exams anyway!) The longer you wait to address hearing loss, the worse it will get and the more difficult daily life will become.
Q: How long do hearing aid batteries last?
A: This varies for each person, but if you estimate about 16 hours a day of use, you will get anywhere from 5 to 14 days out of each hearing aid battery. The size and level of technology of your hearing aid will also impact the battery life, as smaller batteries don't last as long and more advanced technology drains batteries a bit more quickly.
Q: Does earwax interfere with hearing aids?
A: A little bit of earwax on your hearing aids is inevitable, and the hearing aids are designed to be unaffected. However, it's a good idea to quickly brush your hearing aids off when you take them out at night. This will help to avoid a large buildup.
MYTH's (Common Hearing Myths)
Myth: Hearing aids will make my hearing worse.
Truth: Unless they are not programmed to be too loud for your individual level of hearing loss, hearing aids will absolutely NOT make your hearing worse. (At Ageless Hearing, we take the time and care to avoid this situation.) Some people mistakenly think that their hearing becomes worse in the first few weeks of hearing aid use. In reality, their improved hearing allows their brain to truly recognize the severity of their hearing loss for the first time.
Myth: Hearing aids will make my hearing absolutely perfect again.
Truth: While hearing aid technology is constantly improving to make using them sound as natural as possible, it's not quite there yet. However, this doesn't mean that hearing aids won't help you hear better. They will make the most of the hearing ability you have left and help you engage more fully in your relationships and in the world around you. This is another reason why you shouldn't wait to get hearing aids once you realize you need them.
Myth: Hearing aids bought at big-box retailers and online will work just as well but cost less money.
Truth: The worst hearing aid fit by a qualified professional will work better for you than the best hearing aid fit by someone who doesn't know how to do it well. There's no substitute for a professional who will give you the time and attention you need in order to get the best hearing aid experience!
General Hearing-Aid Tips
Once you get used to them, wear your hearing aids all the time. You brain will adjust to them much more quickly and smoothly if you use them as consistently as possible.
Some people think that putting hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator will make them last longer. This is not true, and may actually make the batteries worse.
It can take some time to get used to hearing aids. Help retrain your brain by watching television with subtitles or reading along while someone else or an audiobook recording reads to you.
When you first start wearing them, keep your hearing aids clean and dry to avoid skin irritation.
Tinnitus is a condition in which there is a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, or other sound in your ear at all times. The Center for Disease Control reports that about 15% of Americans experience tinnitus of some sort. It often accompanies hearing loss. Tinnitus can be brought about by excessive noise exposure, stress, illness, or sometimes seemingly nothing at all.