The Relunctant Hearing Device Wearers

When I meet a new person with hearing loss, we generally end up talking about our mutual problems, how it is hard to hear in noise, how we miss too many words, the difficulties we face when conversing. We might say that living a hermit’s life is not so bad. In the end, we decide that the best way to run our lives is to wear our aids and implants and use technology if it helps.
People suffering from hearing loss face many problems. There is no cure for hearing loss. Hearing aids and cochlear implants do not restore on to normal hearing. Even after purchasing custom-made aids and implants, some still do not hear as well as they would like. Hearing aid users might experience feedback or have ill-fitting ear molds. Some proclaim hearing aids and implants as complicated and not easy to use. Most wearers of aids or implants state they do not hear well in noise.
I purchased new hearing aids in January. Though they have improved my hearing, I am still getting used to environmental sounds. I’ve noticed that female voices sound mechanical and unlike a human voice. I was told by my audiologist to be patient, and that my brain needs time to learn new sounds. When trying out new aids or after receiving an implant, it is important to keep in touch with your audiologist. Be specific about what you can and cannot hear. Doing so helps your audiologist make needed adjustments.
Hearing aid users often complain of ill-fitting ear molds resulting in feedback or poor hearing. If your molds do not stay deep within your ear canal, speech will sound dull. It is not easy for an audiologist to fit patients for ear molds. From time to time, I have had to rebuild mold. A good audiologist will always check on how your ear molds fit, and they will replace ill-fitting molds free of charge.
Some people find hearing aids and implants complicated, particularly when it comes to adjusting them or figuring out why they are not working properly. Hearing aid and C.I. manufacturers work hard to make their devices as simple as possible. Audiologist should help their patients understand the basics of raising and lowering volume; how to switch from one hearing setting to another, and how to troubleshoot.
Sadly, hearing aids and implants are expensive. Digital, custom-made, and Made-For-iPhone hearing aids can cost up to $7,500.00 for two aids. Cochlear Implants can cost between $50,000.00 and $75,000.00. Along with aids and implants, there is often the need for hearing accessories such as television adapters and mini microphones. Though accessories help us hear, these devices can add another $400.00 to the cost of aids and implants. Private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid usually covers the cost of implants. Hearing aids are not covered. Sometimes, people forgo the advice of hearing professionals to purchase aids because they have a difficult time justifying the expense. The uninsured might go years before Medicaid approves an implant. In most states, people can test hearing aids for up to 30 days. However, an audiological practice may ask that you pay up front for the aids. If you return the aids, it can take thirty or more days before you receive a refund.
Hearing aid maintenance is an issue. They collect dirt, grime, and earwax. Aids need periodic cleanings. The external components of implants must be kept clean, dry, and free of static. From time to time, your audiologist or physician should check your devices for damage. Those wearing hearing aids will need to have wax removed from their ear canals and ear molds. Most audiologist build in the cost of periodic visits when you purchase aids or implants.
As we meander through the hearing world, we need to understand what hearing aids and implants can and cannot do. We need to work with our audiologists to insure proper fittings and adjustments. Hearing aids and implants are not perfect. They do not cure hearing loss. However, with diligence and care they can help us hear