Successful Hearing Aid Use:
By Bob Martin On November 28, 2012
By Robert L. Martin
If you have never worn hearing aids,
it will take some time before
you understand them. They are not like any other medical or electronic device.
Some people try to compare hearing aids to cell phones or computers, but these
comparisons are not valid.
In writing this article, I asked one
of my female patients how I
should describe hearing aids to the women reading it. She thought for a moment
then said, “Getting hearing aids is like getting a wedding dress.”
I thought for a while, then asked, “How?
“Well,” she said, “You
want the wedding dress to be perfect. It is
a big deal. You talk to your friends, go shopping, and finally find one you
like and you can afford. Then you go through the process of having it fitted.
Adjustments are made. You try it on several times. After a considerable amount
of work, it is fabulous! Just what you want! But a couple of years later, it no
longer fits. You have changed.”
THE NATURE OF HEARING AIDS
In this introductory article I want to
discuss the nature of hearing aids. If you happen to have a working
knowledge of electronics, this information will be helpful. But hearing aids
are a one-of-a-kind apparatus and it is often the “small” things that become
critically important, not the “big” things.
The practical side of hearing aid use
is crucial. Most of this
information is common sense, e.g., don’t let hairspray get on your hearing
aids. Some tasks are best done by professionals, e.g., keeping your ears clean.
And some tasks are done by your Audiologist, e.g., programming the sound to
make it comfortable.
Because hearing aids are so unique, it
takes some time to
introduce them to people who have never worn them.
This is the first in a series of articles
designed to help you use
hearing aids successfully. These articles will teach you how to fix simple
hearing aid problems at home. My goal is to make you aware of simple common
problems so you can solve them easily. I want you to enjoy wearing your hearing
With hearing aids, you
only get one strike
There is one unique aspect of hearing
aids that you need to
understand: It does not take much to make a hearing aid non-functional.
Let me explain this concept with a “One strike, you’re out” teaching analogy. In the game
of baseball, you get three opportunities to hit the ball. Each time you swing
at the ball and miss it’s a “strike.” You get three strikes before you’re out.
But, when you use hearing aids, a single defect (one strike) often destroys the
usefulness of the hearing aid.
Consider these four simple problems:
switch is in
the wrong position
If a hearing aid has any of these problems,
it doesn’t matter how
much time and work you and your Audiologist put into the hearing aid. It is not
going to work! All aspects of the hearing aid have to be working properly for
you to enjoy the benefits of amplification. You need to avoid the first strike.
You need to know how to fix each “little” problem.