New hearing aids can bring about many new sound experiences, so it’s important for you to know what to expect. There are two types of expectations that you should have. The first is what to expect when you walk out with your new hearing aids. If you have any problem in these areas, we will correct them as soon as possible.
The immediate expectations for your hearing aids should include:
• The hearing aids should be physically comfortable to wear. If you have discomfort, especially after the first few days of use, adjustments can be made to the physical shape of the body or ear piece of the hearing device to make it comfortable.
• The hearing devices should not feedback, or whistle, under normal conditions. If feedback occurs on a frequent basis, I can make adjustments to minimize these occurrences.
• The hearing aids should not make loud sounds uncomfortably loud. If loud sounds cause discomfort, I can make adjustments to make the sounds of the hearing aid more comfortable.
• The hearing aids should improve your ability to hear soft and conversational levels of speech in quiet environments.
• The hearing devices should be comfortable to wear in louder, noisier environments.
What improvements may I expect as I use my hearing aids?
A hearing loss creates many types of hearing problems. These difficulties may become worse in some situations. I will try to solve all of your major challenges, but the nature of hearing loss is such that your hearing will never be normal again.
Everyone’s hearing loss is different and, for some, the damage is so great that certain situations will always pose a challenge even with the best devices. Improving your ability to communicate in challeng¬ing situations will form the basis of what we will try to do for you. I call these focus points Potential Benefits.
The ability to meet these goals will vary depending on the specific nature of your hearing loss, the communication environments that you visit and the level of technology in your devices.
Potential Benefits would include:
• The hearing aids will allow you to better listen and understand speech in complex, noisy situations.
• The hearing aids will improve your ability to separate the various sources of sound in your environment and focus on the sounds in which you are most interested. This improves your ability to listen more easily
• The higher the level of technology in your devices, the greater the greater the ability to listen easily in challenging situations.
At Lakewood Hearing our goal is your better hearing.
Adapted from Donald J. Schum, Ph. D. (2009). Managing Patient Expectations. Audiology Online, April 13.