Hearing Education & Resources

A woman using a keyboard in Bristol, CT

Whether this is your first time wearing hearing aids or you've had them for years, you've probably got questions about what to expect. We believe in educating our patients because we want you to be confident in your purchase and your decisions.

When we schedule appointments, we always make sure to book plenty of time for us to answer your questions in detail. Please give us a call or ask any questions at your appointment and we'll be happy to help. Even the most basic questions are important.

Below, we've gathered some common questions and concerns our patients have about hearing aids.

Hearing Loss FAQ

What kinds of hearing loss are there?

There are three kinds of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss requires medical intervention. It means something is blocking the sound, often earwax or fluid from illness.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage to your hearing nerve (which can be caused by exposure to loud noise or just a side effect of aging). This is usually treated by hearing aids.
  • Mixed hearing loss has elements of both. In these cases, we'll recommend that you go see a medical professional to address your conductive hearing loss, and then we'll bring you back in to see if we can help you with hearing aids.

Will my hearing aids be like my parents' or grandparents' hearing aids?

No. Hearing aids have come a long way since the days of analog hearing aids. Modern hearing aids can process background noise to help you hear better in more challenging environments, and they are much smaller and subtler than ever before. Better technology and smarter designs mean they won't squeal. And they're easier to use, too.

How do I take care of my hearing aids?

A hearing aid evaluation and cleaning

It's important to keep up with the day-to-day maintenance of your hearing aids. We will show you how to clean them at your appointment, and we'll work with you until you're comfortable cleaning them and changing the wax guard.

  • Clean them daily.
  • Change the wax guard monthly.
  • Store them in a dry environment and away from pets.
  • Never wear them while swimming or bathing.
  • Change the batteries regularly.
  • Bring them to us every six months for an evaluation.

How long will my hearing aids last?

If you follow the regular care and maintenance of your hearing aids, they should last you 3-5 years. However, since hearing aid technology is always advancing, we find that many patients want to replace their hearing aids every 3 years so they can benefit from the new technology.

Will people be able to see my hearing aids?

Oftentimes, people don't even notice you're wearing hearing aids, but hearing aids are generally not actually invisible. If you're worried about people seeing your hearing aids, ask yourself if you mind whether people can see you're wearing glasses. There's nothing wrong with needing a device to help you hear or see better. An added bonus of choosing hearing aids that are more visible is that then people know they have to speak more clearly to you, so you'll have better, easier conversations.

Hearing Aid Advice

A woman showing hearing aids to a man in Bristol, CT

Have realistic expectations.

Hearing loss can be treated, but it can't be cured. It's important to focus on what you gain when you have hearing aids, rather than what you’ve lost. Hearing aids will let you get a lot more out of life than if you let your hearing loss go untreated. Our hearing instrument specialist wears hearing aids herself, so she can help you set your expectations. We think they're worth it, and we're happy to let you try hearing aids for yourself to see if you agree.

Be patient.

You didn't lose your hearing overnight, and unfortunately you won't get it back overnight. Your brain will have to get used to all the sounds it can hear again! If things seem a little overwhelming at first, give it time. However, if you're really truly uncomfortable and something doesn't seem right, let us know and we'll bring you in to see if we can fix it.

You have to actually wear your hearing aids to see good results.

Sometimes people buy hearing aids but then choose not to wear them. If you're not ready for hearing aids yet, we respect that — but if you do get hearing aids, give them a chance to make your life better. Hearing aids are meant to be worn, and they can only help you during the hours when they're in your ears.

Don't wait to get hearing aids.

Now is the time. If you have a hearing loss, it's not going to get better on its own. And the longer you wait, the harder it will be for your brain to adjust to hearing again after you do get hearing aids. Hearing aids really can make a big difference in your life; they can help you stay connected to the people you love, and they can help you stay active doing your favorite hobbies. There's no reason to put it off and risk losing those things. That's why we sometimes loan patients hearing aids for a couple of weeks. We want you to have a chance to see for yourself if the hearing aid are helping.

Stay on top of your follow-up appointments.

Your hearing aids will last longer if you take good care of them, and that includes letting an experienced hearing instrument specialist check them regularly. We'll notice if something seems wrong, and we can give your hearing aids a thorough cleaning. Also, your hearing may continue to change, just like your vision. We recommend that patients have their hearing tested every three years just to catch any changes in hearing. Of course, if you notice a difference yourself, don't wait for the three-year appointment. Give us a call right away.

Be honest with us if you don't like your hearing aids.

We promise you won't hurt our feelings if you come back and tell us something isn't working. What we care about is whether you're having a good experience and hearing better. Let us know so we can have a chance to make it right. We want you to love your hearing aids and how much better they make life for you.

Be your own advocate with your family.

A family supporting each other during hearing loss

Your family members love you and they want what's best for you, but we understand sometimes it's frustrating when they aren't sure how to help with your hearing loss. We carry brochures in our office that give advice for your family members on how to support someone with hearing loss. Let us know if you need our help answering your family's questions.

In general, they'll need to remember the following:

  • Hearing aids aren't an instant cure; a person with hearing aids still needs you to be considerate in conversations.
  • Don't walk away or turn your back when talking to someone with hearing loss; they might not be able to understand you if you do.
  • Don't expect your family member with hearing loss to understand you from across the house.
  • Try to speak with your lips visible.
  • Be patient with your family member who has hearing loss.

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