Dr. Egan & The 3 Keys to Hearing Aid Success
Hi, I’m Dr. Egan From Now Hear This and today I’m going to talk to you about the keys to being a successful hearing aid user. The number one most important thing when getting hearing aids and becoming a successful hearing aid user is to make sure they are, number one, programmed correctly. The best practice way to have hearing aids programmed is with something called Real-Ear-Measures where a tiny little microphone is placed in your ear, and it measures exactly what the hearing aid is doing. And when an audiologist performs Real-Ear-Measures, they’re able to make sure the hearing aid is giving you exactly the right amount of sound at each pitch in your hearing spectrum.
The second most important thing to be a successful hearing aid user is to be patient. Getting all that sound back can be very overwhelming and the audiologist should work with you step by step to get it to a comfortable starting point where you notice the sounds you were missing but they’re not overwhelming. From there it’s really important to be patient and keep in mind that it will get better! But as your brain isn’t used to hearing sound for who knows how many years, things like the rustling of fabric, the crinkling of paper, or even the click of a pen can be very noticeable by your brain. So, each time you hear those sounds, just be patient and tell your brain, “You know what? It’s going to get better. The more I hear the sound, the more my brain will get used to it.” And as your brain gets reacquainted with all the sounds it was missing, it gets better and better. A lot of times I tell patients that getting hearing aids is like getting braces. It’s not like getting glasses, where you put them on and it’s an instant fix. It really takes a little bit of tweaking each time I see you to get your brain acclimated to all the sounds it was missing again. And just as we have to be patient for our teeth to straighten when we get braces, we need to be patient as our brain gets accustomed to hearing aids again.
And that kind of brings us to part three. In addition to having your hearing aids programmed via Real-Ear-Measurement, and then being patient as you get used to the sound, it’s really important to wear our hearing aids all the time. Ideally, I tell my patients to wear hearing aids at least 12 hours a day, but the more you wear your hearing aids, the more time your brain has to get reacquainted with the sounds that it was missing. We find that in patients that wear their hearing aids all the time, their brain gets used to the sound faster, and then it benefits from that sound even more. When someone only wears their hearing aids every once in a while, say if they’re going to a restaurant, then they put the hearing aids on, they go in the restaurant, their brain is immediately overloaded by the pots and pans, the clinking of utensils, and water going into the glasses, all those extra sounds. But if your brain is used to these sounds from wearing them all day long, then you’re used to things like the hum of the fridge, the sound of dishes going into the sink, and when you go into a restaurant, it’s much less overwhelming.
So those are the three keys to being a successful hearing aid user. Make sure they are programmed with Real-Ear-Measurement, be patient, and wear your hearing aids all day long. And when my patients follow those steps there is not a single person who calls it quits if you follow all three things, and they find it very rewarding to have those sounds of life back again and be able to really enjoy their hearing aids on a daily basis. If you enjoyed this video and want to learn more, make sure to like and subscribe! And of course, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!