Do you have a gym membership that you seldom use? How about that electric mixer you just HAD to have but only pull out twice a year? Do your hearing aids sit in a drawer, unused, day after day? Our society often purchases things they perceive as needed or wanted, then ends up relegating them to a dusty corner, never to be seen again. Here are some reasons people tuck their hearing aids away, as well as some excellent reasons to bring them out and rejoin the hearing world.
Hearing involves not only the ears but the brain as well. Our brain needs to be trained to hear, much like we learn to read. It takes time and effort to become good at it. If you have difficulties hearing, the longer you go without wearing these devices, the more your brain will struggle to recognize the sounds it’s hearing.
Prolonged use of hearing aids will reteach the brain to recognize sounds or voices immediately, whereas if you only use them at get-togethers or when going out, the brain has to muddle through and try to recognize things it hasn’t heard recently. Even those who live alone would benefit from regularly using hearing aids.
Watching television, listening to the radio, even sounds of birds or people talking around you will help to keep your hearing and brain activity in proper contact. By putting them in when you wake up and not removing the devices until bedtime, you can absorb a full day of attentive listening as well as understanding what is going on around you. This is a great exercise for the brain, as well as an excellent safety precaution.
For people who don’t regularly use their hearing aids, they often grow frustrated easily, feeling left out or secluded from what is going on around them. They might suffer from decreased earning potential if they’re still in the workforce as well as a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. There is also a higher risk of cognitive decline and an increased possibility of dementia.
Often poorly fitting devices are to blame for these expensive little numbers to be tossed in a drawer and forgotten about. Sores in or behind the ears from both behind-the-ear (BTE) models as well as in-the-ear (ITE) models can certainly make one not want to deal with them. Improperly fitting earmolds tubes that are too long or too short can cause discomfort as well.
But did you know that your hearing health professional can often easily and quickly make the needed adjustments to your devices? They’ll work with you to find the most comfortable fit and ensure that you’re satisfied before you leave their office.
For those times you just can’t remember how to change the battery or if you’re not comfortable cleaning those tiny little pieces, these professional teams will happily clean and update the batteries for you. Can’t get to their office? No problem just give them a call. They can easily talk you through much of the handiwork needed for the day to daycare and maintenance.
Sometimes, hearing can deteriorate enough that your current hearing aids just aren’t working for you like they used to. This is when it’s best to make an appointment for a checkup. It’s always a good idea to let your hearing aid specialist know if you feel that the device is no longer working effectively.
Something might have changed with your hearing, or it’s possible something is wrong with your hearing aid. It might just need a good cleaning, but it could be malfunctioning too. You could have a blockage that muffles your hearing, or it might be time to update your device.
Occasionally technology gets in our way and slows us down. Many of the hearing aids on the market today are able to link to Bluetooth devices or cell phones. It’s sometimes hard to remember how these devices work until you’ve used them a few times. Turning the volume on your hearing aid up or down from your cell phone might seem a bit scary to someone who isn’t used to taking their phone everywhere with them.
Smartphone hearing aids are so advanced that they are able to stream GPS directions, phone calls, or music from your smartphone right to your hearing device. Both android and iPhone devices have this technology in place simply by downloading the app onto your phone and linking to your hearing aid.
To the average passerby, you might appear to be checking your email or sending a text, but you may actually be making adjustments to your hearing aids. It allows a more customizable experience such as controlling bass, treble, and other sound-related settings.
You can even use your phone to do things like locate misplaced hearing aids or act as a microphone. By using it as a streaming device, you can hear those around you in a noisy setting such as a restaurant as it picks their voice up and streams it directly to your ears.
For the young and old alike, hearing devices are becoming a thing of the present and the future. Smart technology, as well as advancements in size and materials, have allowed greater levels of comfort and self-confidence for those who need the assistance of hearing aids.
If you or a loved one aren’t using your hearing aids to their fullest potential, it might be time to dig them out, clean them up and give them another go. If you’ve experienced discomfort or problems using them, simply contact your hearing health professional for a quick adjustment or a refresher on how to operate and care for them. They’ll be pleased that you’ve decided to give it another shot and happy to help however they can.