If you have had difficulty hearing the television, the pastor during a church sermon, or even someone talking to you in the same room, you may need to get your hearing tested. If, after testing, you find that you are in need of a hearing aid, you may have a bunch of questions that you will need to address. Here is a summary of the process getting a hearing aid and some tips to help with the buying process.
Take a trip to your family doctor and have them recommend an otolaryngologist or audiologist to test your ears for hearing loss. This test is an assessment to see how well you can hear tones or words when spoken. The results will tell you the extent of the hearing loss and the type of hearing loss that you have.You may be able to treat your hearing problems medically without needing a hearing aid at all.
There are two kinds of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is caused by a problem with the eardrum, the bones connected to the eardrum, and the ear canal. A blockage prevents sound from reaching your inner ear. This can be medically corrected with surgical procedures and will not need a hearing aid to repair. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by aging or having a head trauma. It cannot be repaired surgically, but can be helped with the use of a hearing aid.
Picking Out The Hearing Aid
If you have sensorineural hearing loss, you will want to take a trip to a hearing aid store. Bring along a friend to help you as you will be testing out the hearing aids and will need someone to be speaking from different distances when doing model comparison. The models will range from over-the-ear to very small hearing aids that fit inside the ear. The model you pick will depend on your hand dexterity, your preference for size, how the hearing aid fits inside your ear, and your price range. The clerk will be able to fit the model to your ear so that it does not fall out.
Test the hearing aid from different distances. Make sure that you can clearly hear your friend when they are speaking or making other noises. The clerk will have you try a series of tests as well, usually from a sound-proof room so that distractions will not hinder your test.
Do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying extras. There are different attachments and features that can be used for telephone usage, in crowded rooms, or to amplify the sound more in other certain situations. These are not always needed and should be considered carefully before purchasing. Make sure to get a contract in writing about your purchase and do not leave the store until you are sure that the hearing aid you picked out seems to be working properly.
Maintaining Your Hearing Aid
After you have picked out a hearing aid that seems to work for you, start slowly by using it in quieter areas. Work yourself up to wearing it longer each day and adding places that are a bit noisier. It takes a little while to get used to wearing a hearing aid.
You can keep your hearing aid in good working order with frequent cleanings to remove buildup of ear wax. Remove your hearing aid and use a clean cloth to lightly polish. If there is a noticeable buildup, use a hearing aid multi-tool to brush off any grime. This tool will be provided with your hearing aid when it is purchased.
For more information, contact a local hearing aid clinic, like Bartley's Hearing Aid Center Inc.