Once a hearing loss has been identified, it is essential that you become informed of all of the options available to help improve your communications. While hearing aids will undoubtedly improve your communication abilities, it is important to understand they are not a cure for hearing loss, and do have certain limitations. Improving communication involves a long term rehabilitative process.
The first step is to be an informed consumer. Understand your hearing loss. Ask your audiologist to explain in detail about degree and type of hearing loss, its implications for communication, preventative and rehabilitative recommendations, and need for referrals.
Include family members and significant others in this discussion.
It is important for you to establish reasonable expectations from your hearing aid(s). Successful use of hearing aids is a complex process and evolves over time. The one most important factor in determining the success of your hearing aid fitting is your motivation to hear well. Before you ever put on hearing aids, you’ll receive counseling to prepare you for this change in your lifestyle. Learning what to expect beforehand will help you achieve the maximum benefit from your devices.
Discuss your expectations and needs with your audiologist and establish your goals for improving your communication.
Hearing aid and Follow Up
The rehabilitation process begins once you have been fit with hearing aids. The audiologic rehabilitation process involves post-fitting orientation, counseling and rehabilitation.
When you receive your hearing aids, you will need to schedule a fitting appointment to make sure they are programmed to the optimum settings for your specific hearing needs.
Your audiologist will check the physical fit to make sure they are comfortable. They will then be programmed and adjusted based on your hearing loss and lifestyle needs. You will learn how to use your hearing aids and make adjustments for different hearing environments, insert and remove them, change the batteries, and clean and care for them properly. You will also learn tips and strategies for better communication.
It may take awhile to adjust your hearing aids to their maximum effectiveness. Follow-up visits will be scheduled as needed.