Read this before getting your hearing aids

Read this before getting your first pair of hearing aids, be it with public hospitals or private centres.

Hearing aids myths and misconceptions

Common hearing aid myths and misconceptions:

  • I only need hearing aids when my hearing becomes really really bad
  • Once I put on hearing aids, I can hear everything very clearly immediately
  • Hearing aids are very noisy
  • After I am fitted with hearing aids, I don’t have to do anything to them anymore
  • Buying hearing aids online are much more convenient and cheaper, so getting hearing aids from local hearing aids dispensers are unnecessary

Debunking the myth:

  • I only need hearing aids when my hearing becomes really really bad

A: You should always start to wear hearing aids at an earlier stage of hearing loss, and never wait until your hearing becomes very bad to get hearing aids. It is because it takes time for our brain to learn and re-learn how to process sounds. The longer your brain is deprived of sounds, the harder it is for your brain to learn to process sounds. Therefore, it is important to wear hearing aids early to let your brain acclimatize to the sounds. To wear hearing aids early is also for your brain’s good. It is important to keep your brain active. As studies indicate that untreated hearing loss is one of the risk factors of dementia, it is good to eliminate this risk factor by putting on hearing aids at an early stage of hearing loss.

 

  • Once I put on hearing aids, I can hear everything very clearly immediately

A: Unlike putting on glasses that makes you see thing clearly immediately, it takes time for hearing aids to let you hear clearly.  As mentioned, it takes time for the brain to learn how to process sounds again. After wearing hearing aids, the brain will receive sounds that were missed for a long time again, and it takes time for the brain to recognize and to get familiar with the sounds. This process for the brain to acclimatize to sounds again takes at least three to six months, and for some people, it even takes up to years. This learning process is like learning how to drive a car. It takes time and practices. Wearing hearing aids is a long journey, it takes a lot of commitment, patience and time.

 

  • Hearing aids are very noisy

A: At the beginning of putting on hearing aids, an individual may feel that the sounds are very loud. It is because the brain has missed out all these sounds for many years. To people with normal hearing, these sounds may be just at a normally acceptable volume. It is not unusual for one to feel slightly overwhelmed when they first put on hearing aids. Your brain will need months to adjust to the volume of the sounds.

 

  • After I am fitted with hearing aids, I don’t have to do anything to them anymore

A: Hearing aids are not like glasses. They need a lot of adjustments from your hearing care professionals. You should see your hearing care professional at least once a month for the first three to six months for adjustments. Your hearing care professionals will adjust your hearing aids according to your reactions to real-life environmental sounds, and your concerns.

 

  • Buying hearing aids online are much more convenient and cheaper, so getting hearing aids from local hearing aids dispensers are unnecessary

A: Buying hearing aids online is definitely not encouraged. Getting a pair of hearing aids is not the end, but oppositely, it is just the start of the journey. When you get hearing aids online, you are not accurately assessed by a professional audiologist or hearing care consultant. Your hearing aids may be programmed to suit your level of hearing loss, but they are not adjusted to best suit your everyday listening needs. You need your hearing care professionals to further adjust your hearing aids for the hearing aids to provide you the greatest benefit.

 

The value of hearing aids

The value of hearing aids is not only on the chip that processes the hearing aids or the hearing aid technology, but more importantly, the value is on the hearing professionals who made the adjustments for you. From the previous section, the importance of adjustments and acclimatization is repeatedly stressed. All these adjustments must be done by qualified hearing care professionals to provide you the greatest benefit. Hearing aids do not work automatically. Without the hearing professionals, hearing aids are just decorations. Without the adjustments, no matter how expensive the hearing aids are, there is still no use. It is crucial to have a hearing care professional to carry out regular reviews for you to cater to your needs.

 

Why hearing professionals – audiologists or hearing consultants matter more than the hearing aids?

Anyone can fit hearing aids. What matters most is whether the consultants truly understand the following:

  • What the patient is going through
    • The top three difficulties that an individual with hearing loss has: inability to hear; unawareness of ongoing conservation; isolation that is brought by the hearing loss
    • It takes a professional that has true empathy to understand all these to talk to these patients (with a majority of elderly), and to persuade them to seek help
    • Not only getting hearing aids and wearing hearing aids in a long-term is important, encouraging the patients to voice out their concerns is crucial too

 

  • Hearing aids are very uncomfortable devices
    • First of all, patients have to wear them 8-10 hours a day, which is like wearing an earpiece every day for the rest of their lives
    • Second, the sound is artificial and unnatural. Most patients started to wear hearing aids at least at their 50s, which they are already used to the natural sound quality
    • It takes a lot of patience and time to get used to these artificial and unnatural sounds
    • The right audiologist/consultant would have understood all these when explaining to the patient, manage their expectations, and walk through the journey with them

 

  • The effect to the people around individuals with hearing loss − their family members, loved ones and friends
    • “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” ― Helen Keller
    • When one has hearing loss, the people around them are affected the most: people with hearing loss are unable to communicate as per normal, the people surrounding them need to raise their voices, and repeat several times for the person with hearing loss to hear. It is utterly tiring and frustrating. When we get tired of raising our voices, we will eventually stop talking to our loved ones, which affects our relationships. It affects the communication and quality of life of numerous people. This also makes the person with hearing loss feels lonely, and eventually leads to social isolation

 

Remarks: Hearing loss is an invisible disease, people around you do not know about it, even the patient themself is unaware of it. Hearing loss is a very lonely disease. That is why support from empathetic consultants are utterly important for the patient to go through the whole process.

 

Here with Amazing Hearing, each hearing consultant and audiologist is chosen primarily based on their sincerity in helping people with hearing loss. Our team proud ourselves for being able to help every patient that step into our clinics. Our patients and their family members can entrust their lifelong hearing journey regardless of the hearing aids purchased.

It takes a truly caring and sincere consultant to treat your hearing loss issues, and to walk through the lifelong journey with you. We are always by your side.

 

 

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