The majority of people with mild to moderate hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. However, hearing aids don’t work for everyone, including people with severe to profound nerve deafness, or sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. This is because hearing aids amplify sound, but when damage to hearing is too severe, the amplification that hearing aids provide can make sounds more distorted, rather than clearer. In these instances, people will benefit more from a cochlear implant.
However, many people say, “Well, I know someone with hearing aids that cost a few thousand dollars, but they don’t work for him so they just sit at a drawer in his home.”
While it may seem foolish to give hearing aids a try after knowing people who did not benefit from them, there are many reasons to do so if you have mild to moderate hearing loss.
For starters, in most states, there are consumer laws that allow individuals to try hearing aids for 30 days and return them for a refund. However, 30 days is not usually enough time to know if hearing aids work for you. Instead, pick a clinic that will let you try a pair of hearing aids without purchasing them first. A place like this is usually confident in its audiologists’ abilities to help you find the perfect pair of devices for you and to adjust them for the perfect fit.
It’s also very important to know that hearing aids do not work right away. Many people are confused about this. They think that their hearing should be “restored” and work the second they put the devices in. However, this is not how hearing aids work. They do not restore hearing, but they do allow you to hear sounds in a new way through amplification. This can take a lot of time for your ears to get used to – in fact, it may take a few months and a dozen visits to the audiologist to have them functioning how they should for you! The important thing is to manage your expectations and to be patient. Most audiologists recommend only wearing your hearing aids for a few hours a day at first, and starting in quiet surroundings before gradually working up to longer periods and more noisy surroundings. This can help you adjust and ensure that you have the most success with your new devices!