Problems With Hearing Aids and How To Solve Them
Problem “My hearing aids make things louder but I am still having problems hearing.”
Solution The hearing aid may not be matching the prescription. Most hearing losses are different across the pitches or frequencies. That means that the hearing aid needs to amplify differently across those frequencies. Often a hearing aid can be too loud or too soft in some frequencies causing the hearing aid to make things louder but not necessarily clearer or speech audible. “Real Ear Measurements” provides a solution. This allows the audiologist to put a tiny tube down in the ear canal, insert the hearing aid and measure the performance of the hearing aid in the ear taking into account the acoustics of the ear canal. The hearing aid is then programmed with a computer to make sure it is matching the prescription or target amplification properly. In my 25 years of practice I often have someone come in to buy new hearing aids and I simply reprogram the hearing aid(s) using “Real Ear Measurements” and their problems are solved or diminished.
Problem “My hearing aids help in some situations but I am still having problems in noisy environments and on the telephone.”
Solution Hearing aids today can have many features. Choosing the right hearing aid with the right features is critical. Recently I had a lady come in with some hearing aids and those two problems. Her hearing aids were set up to work completely automatically. However, this did not allow her to address her problems. We sent her hearing aids back to the manufacturer and had a “Program Button” put on her hearing aids and we made a program for the telephone and a program for noisy environments. The telephone program amplified only the frequencies that the telephone uses and the noise program was designed to enhance only the sounds in front of her. She could access these two programs just by hitting her program button. She was pleased.
Problem “I dont wear my hearing aids because I am always having problems. I have finally gotten so frustrated I just dont wear them.”
Solution Often people do not know how to handle their hearing aids and finally give up. It is critical that patients receive the proper instructions so that they know how to handle and solve almost every problem they can encounter. When I started dispensing hearing aids some 25 years ago, it didnt take me long to realize that patients needed to be seen as often as it takes until they master all the skills that they need to handle their hearing aids properly. It is important to find an audiologist that will provide those kinds of services. Regular follow-up appointments, every 3-6 months, are also important to ensure the hearing aids are working properly. I regularly do “Real Ear Measurements” on those visits just to make sure everything is working well. Annual hearing tests and reprogramming are recommended as well.
These are just a few problems that people with hearing aids encounter and the solutions. I hope you have found this helpful.