So your first hearing consultation and fitting are coming up and we want to start by congratulating you! You’ve already addressed the biggest step toward treating your hearing loss, which is admitting you have a hearing issue and taking action. It takes most people 7 to 10 years on average before they admit they have a problem – and only 20% of those who could benefit from hearing aids have ever tried them.
Now that your consultation is coming up, you most likely have many questions about the process. If you have your questions prepared and written out ahead of time, you can be sure to get all the answers you are looking for. Bring along some paper and a pen to take notes. Here are just a few tips and questions to ask to make sure you get the most out of this experience.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
A lot of information will be covered during your hearing consultation and fitting, and you don’t want to miss anything. Even when you are taking notes it is difficult to be present at the same time. Bringing a family member or friend along can not only feel supportive, but they can act as a second pair of ears and help you take note of all the new information.
The main goal of this appointment is about making sure your hearing aids are as comfortable as possible. It’s also a time where we will be tweaking your listening program, based on your hearing exam, to make sure that your hearing aids pick up all the sounds you need and don’t amplify sounds you can already hear.
Today’s hearing aids also have a lot of programs that do all sorts of supportive things to make your hearing experience as adaptive as possible. You will be able to switch through listening programs and even improve the sound quality. We will also talk about the best ways to care for your hearing aids so they can do their best work for as long as possible. This is a lot of information to retain, and you have to do it all with hearing loss which is just about to be addressed. Bringing a support person along can ensure you don’t miss a thing.
Give Yourself Lots of Time
On the day of the appointment, try not to schedule too much around it. You want to give yourself plenty of time to listen and learn. If you are distracted by another obligation, it can often make it difficult to listen and be present. Take time to ask all the questions you need so you fully understand all the amazing possibilities of your new hearing aids.
When Should I Wear My Hearing Aids?
The ultimate goal is that you’ll wear your hearing aids from the time you wake up till the time you go to sleep – only to be removed when bathing or swimming. However, hearing aids can take a while to get used to. When you first start wearing them some sounds – even the sound of your voice may be alarming. For those of us who have waited years until our hearing was severe enough, it may have been years since these sounds were heard.
The first week started slowly. At first, try wearing them only in your home for an hour or two. Expand this time gradually over the week until you are wearing them for longer and longer. What we don’t want and what often happens is that people think that wearing hearing aids will immediately fix the hearing, when it takes time for your brain to re-learn to hear these forgotten sounds. By two weeks most are acclimated to new hearing aids and enjoying the enhanced communication with friends and family that they bring.
At this first visit, there will be a lot of information at once. If you didn’t get it all this first time, there is no need to worry. We are here to answer all your questions as they come up. We will schedule follow-up visits in a week or two to monitor how things are progressing to find out if the hearing aid programming needs any adjustments. If you haven’t scheduled a hearing test yet and you think you could benefit from hearing aids, remember that the first step is often the hardest. Schedule a hearing test today!