If your hearing aids worked well for several months or years, and now something has gone wrong, this post is for you.
Dr. Bob Martin, audiologist, started off this conversation. He pointed out that the first thing you need to do is find out if the problem is with your hearing aids or if your hearing has changed. He suggested a couple of things that should be checked:
- IS IT THE BATTERY? If one of your hearing aids isn’t working as well as it used to and your other hearing aid is all right, then the battery in the second aid must be working. Take the battery out of the “good” hearing aid and put it in the “bad” aid. If the “bad” aid starts working the way it used to, you know there’s a problem with the battery.
- CHECKING YOUR HEARING:
- If you think the problem is with your hearing and not your hearing aid, it is a good idea to start by testing your hearing at home, said Dr. Martin.
- Usually when there is a rapid deterioration in your hearing, it is caused by something, for example, wax or an ear infection that occurs in only one ear.
- Compare your hearing from ear to ear by using the noise you make when you rub the palms of your hands together briskly. Rub your hands together next to your right ear, and listen to this sound; then do the same thing with your left ear, and see if the noise sounds louder in one ear than the other.
- Your hearing care provider will also want to give you an annual hearing test to monitor the stability of your hearing.
So now what?
What if the problem isn’t #1 or #2 above? What if your hearing care professional says your hearing hasn’t changed, and the hearing aids are working fine?
Is this as good as it gets?
I don’t think so!
I have two more suggestions to add to Dr. Martin’s list.
- TRAIN YOUR BRAIN: If you’re wondering “Is this as good as it gets?” – especially in noise – you may be surprised to hear that you can improve your hearing in noise by training your brain. The average person improves the ability to hear in noise by 45% with LACE, the industry’s leading brain training program for older adults with hearing loss.
- USE YOUR EYES: Improve your communication skills by using visual cues. Research tells us that we can improve comprehension by as much as 20% with visual cues such as lip-reading, facial expression, and body language. Most people need explicit instruction on how to use visual cues to their best advantage.
I find that people are often surprised at how much things can improve, with some time and effort. It is exciting, and a privilege, to support and witness these changes!