Hearing checkup should be part of a routine health check for every adult and not limited to seniors only (those aged 65 years and up). In this blog post, I will explain some of the basic information that pertains to hearing loss, hearing aids and hearing care in general.
Approximately 90% of hearing losses are treatable with the use of hearing aids. Only 10% of hearing losses are medically treatable. The prevalence of hearing loss is rising rapidly due to the aging population and excessive noise exposures through recreational activities such as listening to loud music on personal audio devices.
Impact of hearing loss:
In most cases, hearing loss comes on gradually over time. The person with hearing loss can get accustomed to the hearing loss without realizing it, especially in early stages of it. The negative impact of hearing loss is not just limited to the person with hearing loss, but it also affects everyone around them, including family and friends. Your family and friends might be the ones to point out your hearing loss in early stages. Get your hearing checked if you or someone else has noticed the beginning of “occasional hearing difficulties”.
Hearing aid technology has advanced far enough to benefit every individual with a hearing loss. There is no need to put up with a hearing loss just because of cosmetic reasons anymore. Nowadays, hearing aids come in different sizes and shapes. They can be very discreet and extremely nonintrusive in your day-to-day life. A good hearing care professional will always aim to get you the smallest possible hearing aid for your hearing loss.
Ultimate benefit from hearing aids:
You can’t just buy hearing aids from anywhere and expect great results from them. There are a variety of outlets, selling hearing aids at different prices for similar hearing aids. Some of the examples include manufacturer owned clinics, big box stores like COSTCO or number of other online stores. The ultimate success with hearing aids not only depends on quality of the product itself but also on the skills and experience of the hearing care professional. Independently owned clinics tend to do a better job at it as they are not necessarily tied to selling particular hearing aids from a particular manufacturer. The main concern for independently owned clinics is meeting client needs (as opposed to manufacturer needs), resulting in better hearing aid outcomes and greater client satisfaction. Avoid basing your hearing aid decisions on the price alone – consult an experienced hearing care professional, and make an informed decision based on the recommendations and rationale behind it.
Hearing aids can be expensive:
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. In the beginning, investing in good quality digital hearing aids can be expensive, but in the end the investment in better hearing is all worth it. Unlike glasses, hearing aids are active electronic devices, which are constantly analyzing the surrounding noises and simultaneously processing them to produce a clearer amplified speech. There are thousands of combinations and permutations of sound processing that go on inside the hearing aid every second. Moreover, they run on a tiny battery for days and are capable of producing sound level enough to even address profound hearing loss. Further, there are billions of dollars spent on research and development to bring you the best possible digital hearing aids. When you add this up, the hearing aid prices are justified. Enjoying your life with better hearing is priceless!
Ongoing hearing care:
Hearing aid fitting is a multi-appointment process. As your brain gets used to hearing sounds again, you may require multiple hearing aid fine-tuning appointments over a period of time. You also need periodic hearing checkups and regular maintenance of hearing aid devices. The hearing aid prices often include all these services at no extra charge for a number of years after you have bought the hearing aids.
The lifespan of a hearing aid:
There is no single answer to this. Just like anything else, it all depends on how you take care of your hearing aids. The physical wear and tear is dependent on how well the hearing aids are maintained. The technology has evolved and will keep evolving in the future. Typically, hearing aid manufacturers release new hearing aid technology every 2 to 3 years that include new advancements and new features. There are several reasons why a person may need to change the hearing aids. Some of the reasons may include the hearing aid having been physically broken down beyond repair, the manufacturer having stopped manufacturing and repairing a particular hearings aid model, or your hearing thresholds having changed significantly and being beyond the capacity of your hearing aids. In other cases, it is also a personal choice. Some people tend to get new hearing aids every 4 to 5 years to make most of the new technology on offer. There are others who use only one set of hearing aids for the rest of their life. Typically, people tend to go through 3 to 4 sets of hearing aids in their lives.